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Books by Clark Howard 


The Arm 

A Movement Toward Eden 

The Doomsday Squad 

The Killings 

Mark the Sparrow 

The Hunters 

The Wardens 


Six Against the Rock 

The true account 

of the 179 days of 

terror in San Francisco 

Richard Marek Publishers 
New York 


Joe Buffer 

Fellow Marine, 
fellow writer, 
and friend, 

who was the catalyst 
for this one 


Foreword 9 

Author's Note 16 

PART ONE: The 179 Days 

Day One 19 

Day Four 46 

Day Eleven 59 

Day Thirty-seven 69 

Day Fifty-three 89 

Day Fifty-five 113 

Day Sixty-two 129 

Day Sixty-four 147 

Day Sixty-five 164 

Day One Hundred One 1 82 

Day One Hundred Sixty-four 227 

Day One Hundred Seventy-seven 294 

Day One Hundred Seventy-nine 314 

PART TWO: Aftermath to Terror 

The Confession 337 

The Arrests 368 

The Gun 373 

The Indictment 383 

The Final Link 39 \ 

The Trial 395 

Afterword: Six Years Later 402 


In any lengthy work of nonfiction, there are bound to be areas 
where the facts are not entirely certain — and this book is no excep- 
tion. Rarely do two people see an event the same way, particularly 
if that event is sudden, violent, and frightening. A writer is fortu- 
nate when he can interview a dozen people regarding a single oc- 
currence and through them develop a consensus of what actually 
took place. Even then, in the writing of it, he is going to displease 
some of the people, some of the time. 

This book is a reconstruction — as accurate as the author can 
make it — of a series of particularly terrible crimes perpetrated on 
randomly selected victims in San Francisco during a 179-day peri- 
od late in 1973 and early in 1974. All of the victims were white, all 
of their assailants were black. For reasons which the reader will 
later learn, the events became known as the "Zebra" crimes. 

In order to reconstruct these crimes with all possible accuracy, 
the author has availed himself of the contents of reams of available 
written material, and the recollections of dozens of persons con- 
nected both directly and indirectly with the case. The written mate- 
rial, which frequently seemed endless but, surprisingly, was rarely 
contradictory, included the following: 


Clark Howard 

Incident Reports made by San Francisco police officers on each 
crime committed 

Police investigation reports made by homicide detectives assigned to 
each case 

Crime laboratory and ballistics reports relevant to each case 

Newspaper accounts of the effects of the cases on the San Francisco 
citizenry and its government 

A 609-page transcript of six taped sessions of a confession made by 
an informer who participated in the crimes 

The testimony in the subsequent trial of four men named by that in- 
former as the Zebra crimes perpetrators 

Complete criminal and prison records from two states and the feder- 
al system on three of the five men involved (the other two had no pri- 
or criminal records) 

Personal case notes kept by the homicide inspector in charge of the 

And a miscellany of personal notes, letters, and other written materi- 
al from a variety of sources 

The people interviewed include: 

The available victims who would agree to discuss the case 

Relatives and friends of the victims who did not survive 

Police officers assigned to the investigation, including the personal 
cooperation over a fourteen-month period of the homicide inspector, 
now retired, who headed the Zebra investigation 

Extensive personal interviews at Folsom Prison with two of the men 
convicted of the crimes 

Interviews with relatives and friends of the convicted men and the 
informer who identified them 

Telephone interviews with the informer himself, who has been relo- 
cated with a new identity 

And lastly, interviews with anonymous and confidential sources who 



responded to the following classified advertisement in the San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle and Examiner newspapers: 

ZEBRA. Published author of 12 books wishes to contact any- 
one having previously unpublished information about the men 
convicted of the Zebra killings. Particularly interested in any- 
one who attended a loft meeting. Anonymity, confidentiality, 
absolutely guaranteed. Communicate anonymously, on cas- 
sette, or any way you choose. Contact Boxholder, P.O. Box 
5306, Garside Station, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102. 

Factual information was obtained from all these sources, infor- 
mation that could be cross-checked and verified with other infor- 
mation from other sources. Analysis and correlation of all this in- 
formation produced a surprising degree of unanimity. This is not to 
say that the sources interviewed were never in conflict. The con- 
victed men's stories were naturally at variance with the story told 
by the informer. With rare exceptions, however, the informer's 
story proved far more credible — and, more often than not, was 
supported by circumstantial evidence. That story was accepted by 
the police, by the prosecutors, and — most important — by the 
twelve men and women who found the accused men guilty beyond 
a reasonable doubt. It has, consequently, been given great weight 
in the story which follows. 

But there were still voids. At times the informer and/or other 
witnesses who were prepared to speak openly were not present. 
For example, all but one of the men went off alone and committed 
a solitary crime. In a few cases, the victim survived to give tes- 
timony, or a witness was nearby. In other cases, only the solitary 
killer can be certain of the exact sequence of events. And even 
when a witness was available, his testimony was limited by what he 
happened to observe and what he could recall of that observation. 
And no matter how excellent his memory of observed fact, no wit- 
ness can tell what was in the killers' mind — or in the victim's. 

It would have been possible, of course, just to recount the un- 
questionable, observable faicts and say no more. But that would 
have been irresponsible writing. The important question is not the 
who, when, or where of the Zebra murders; the important question 
is why they occurred at all. To answer that question I had to do two 


Clark Howard 

things: attempt to fill in the gaps in the observed events, and probe 
as much as possible the killers' minds. 

Of course, only the killers themselves know for sure what was in 
their minds, or what they did when no witness was present. Every- 
one else, including myself, must proceed from what we know of 
their other actions, their background and habits, and what they lat- 
er said (including, on a couple of lucky occasions, a slip of the 
tongue when being interviewed). Armed with all of this, we can 
then try to set down in logical order the most likely version of 
events. And with all the extrinsic facts available, the margin for er- 
ror in that endeavor, and the conclusions it produced, have been 
substantially reduced. 

The story which follows is as close to the truth as anyone is ever 
likely to get. All of the named characters are real people, except 
two: the person known as Vandyke, who is a composite of several 
men who conducted unauthorized and illegal secret meetings of 
Muslim followers; and the character of Willie Fields, from whom 
the secret laws and other documents of the former Nation of Islam 
were obtained. Names and identifying characteristics have been 
changed only where indicated, and for the reasons given. Follow- 
ing the story, an Afterword — "Six Years Later" — has been includ- 
ed to bring the reader up to date on the principal persons involved. 

Because the persons who committed the Zebra crimes professed 
to believe that their deity, Allah, was moving them to do so, and 
that their acts were for the good of the Black Muslim or Nation of 
Islam religion, the following, for those unfamiliar with the sect, is a 
brief history of that religion taken from various Muslim and non- 
Muslim sources. 

The Black Muslims are an independent socioreligious movement 
made up almost entirely of blacks in the United States. The move- 
ment was founded by one Wali Farad, an orthodox Muslim be- 
lieved to have been born in Mecca around 1877. Farad, or Wallace 
Fard, as he is also called, migrated to the United States and in 1931 
established his first mosque in Detroit. A year later, he founded a 
second temple in Chicago. 



Fard's early followers were Negro migrants from the South. 
Fard preached to them that he was the incarnation of Allah and 
promised that if they believed in him, their race would someday 
overcome the white slavemasters and that they would be restored 
to a position of supremacy among the world's peoples. 

Fard was succeeded as leader by one of his lieutenants, Elijah 
Muhammad, in 1934. Muhammad became known as the Messen- 
ger. He had been born Elijah Poole on October 7, 1897, in Sander s- 
ville, Georgia. He grew up in nearby Macon, attending public 
schools, and remained in the state of Georgia until he was twenty- 
five years old. He was the seventh of thirteen children. During his 
young manhood he worked for the Southern Railroad Company 
and the Cherokee Brick Company. In 1923 he married Clara Evans 
and migrated to Detroit. It was there that he alleged to have met 
God in the person of Wallace Fard, who, using the name Master 
Fard Muhammad, was preaching to blacks in the Detroit ghetto. 

Elijah Poole was impressed enough with Fard that day to ask to 
become a follower. Fard gave him the name Elijah Karriem and ac- 
cepted him as a student minister. Later, because Poole reportedly 
was the humblest of his disciples, Fard selected Poole as his Su- 
preme Minister. 

Black Muslim history states that Master Fard allowed himself to 
be persecuted. He was sent to jail in Detroit and Chicago; the rea- 
sons why are not clear. But for three years he also groomed his Su- 
preme Minister for leadership. Then, in 1934, he disappeared. Eli- 
jah Poole Muhammad immediately assumed the title "Messenger 
of Allah" and began teaching that Fard had, in fact, been Allah 
Himself. Some of the other Detroit ministers did not believe Eli- 
jah, so in 1934 he moved to the mosque in Chicago. Unsuccessful 
there, he moved a year later to Washington, D.C. 

The next few years of Nation of Islam history are vague. It is be- 
lieved that Elijah went from city to city on the East Coast teaching 
Islam and recruiting followers, apparently with some degree of 
success, for he eventually attained sole leadership of the Nation. 
But the next definite record of him was in May 1942, when he was 
arrested by the FBI for failure to register for the draft. At that time 
he said he "would not take part in the war, especially not on the 
side of the infidels." He served five years in federal prisons, while 


Clark Howard 

the Nation of Islam was run by his wife, Clara Evans Muhammad. 

In the decade following World War Two, mosques were estab- 
lished in most large cities with sizable Negro populations, and the 
primary beliefs of the Black Muslims began to be taught with great- 
er zeal. Those beliefs were that the black man was morally and 
culturally superior, and was destined to rule the earth. The sect 
condemned Christianity as the chief stratagem of the continued en- 
slavement of nonwhites, and preached that the white race was con- 
ceived of devils whose time to reign was coming to an end. It en- 
couraged the reclamation of fallen blacks such as convicts, drug 
addicts, and so forth, through the study of their true history, 
through striving for economic independence, and by preparation 
for the Battle of Armageddon, which they believed would be the 
final struggle between good and evil, black and white. 

The movement established its headquarters at Temple No. 2 in 
Chicago, when that Midwestern city became the "New Mecca" of 
the Nation in January 1955. The Nation enjoyed continued growth 
through the years, and at the time of the Zebra crimes was a thriv- 
ing religion which was opening numerous black-operated busi- 
nesses in nearly every large U.S. city in which it had a mosque. Its 
basic beliefs at that time had not changed: the black man was supe- 
rior, the white man was a "devil" (Elijah Muhammad) or a 
"beast" (Malcolm X, a rising young Muslim leader later assas- 

Then, in 1975, Elijah Muhammad died at the age of seventy- 

Poole's son, Wallace Muhammad, succeeded his father as head 
of the sect. He ultimately relinquished absolute leadership in favor 
of a governing council, and gradually the old policies of Elijah Mu- 
hammad were modified to fit the modern needs of the organization. 
The old Nation of Islam is now no more; the World Community of 
Islam has replaced it. Ministers are now "Imams," and the religion 
no longer espouses black superiority. Today the group welcomes 
members of all ethnic backgrounds. Recently, the Imam of the San 
Quentin Prison mosque stated that, "although it will take us quite 
some time to erase our old image, we will do just that by promoting 
brotherhood among all men." 

That is a laudable goal for the World Community of Islam — or 
indeed for any of us. 



Throughout history there have been many stories and examples 
of man's inhumanity to man. Down through the ages, human be- 
ings have destroyed their own kind in an incredible variety of 
ways, for a multitude of reasons: in the name of gods, philoso- 
phies, politics, creeds, ad infinitum. Not the most rare of the rea- 
sons have been those of race. Hitler slew Jews because they were 
an "inferior race" — and Pancho Villa executed "Chinamen" in 
Mexico for the same reasons. The Chinese in turn beheaded "for- 
eign devils" in their own land with little or no provocation; and Idi 
Amin killed even more promiscuously. The Ku Klux Klan has 
burned alive black men in the South for reasons of "race" and 
"white religion "—and the Zebra killers murdered innocent whites 
in San Francisco because their Black Muslim faith taught them that 
"blue-eyed devils" were less than human. 

Monstrous behavior has never been restricted by race or reli- 
gion — and never will be. The recounting of that behavior in books, 
articles, and films must never be restricted either — not by censor, 
not by conscience. For only in the telling of it might understanding 

In this story, as in any story of criminal tragedy, it is left to the 
reader to decide why it happened, where the fault lies. The reader 
must decide in this case whether the Zebra crimes, by example, are 
a condemnation of the antiwhite teachings of the former Nation of 
Islam movement, or whether those teachings were merely an ex- 
cuse used by a group of psychopaths who would have killed any- 

It is a hard question to try to answer. 

But it would be harder not to try to answer it. 

We leave it to the reader. 

Clark Howard 


Author's Note 

In this book the reader will encounter two sets of similar charac- 

The first set of characters is five previously unidentified men 
who commit murders during the course of the story. They are giv- 
en nicknames. 

The second set of characters is five men who are eventually ac- 
cused of being those murderers. These men are identified by their 
true names. 

The two sets of characters are, as indicated, greatly similar. 
Each set is composed of black men, of varying shades of complex- 
ion. They dress in similar fashion, wear their hair in similar styles, 
have collective characteristics so similar, in fact, that they may be- 
come interchangeable, indistinguishable, in the minds of many 

Why, then, the two sets of characters? 

The author used two sets of characters because he did not 
choose to judge the men personally. They have already been 
judged in a court of law. A jury has found them guilty; it is not nec- 
essary for the author to do so also. 

The use of two sets of characters — one with nicknames, one 
with actual names — permitted me, in my own mind if nowhere 
else, the luxury of not having to accuse — or judge — men who still 
profess their innocence. 


The 179 Days 


The meetings were held in the loft of a San Francisco ware- 
house. They were conducted by a dignified black man with a Van- 
dyke beard. He wore a business suit and spoke in a quiet, almost 
ministerial tone. 

"The population of the white man in North America has reached 
one hundred and three million. The population of the black man is 
only seventeen million. But" — he held a stiff forefinger next to one 
ear — "the population of the white man throughout the world is 
only four hundred million, while the population of the black man 
throughout the world has now reached four and a half billion. " 

He turned and strolled at a measured pace before 9ne wall of the 
loft. Facing him, sitting on old but comfortable club chairs and so- 
fas, was an audience of a dozen black men. Their eyes followed 
him as he strolled. 

"There are fifty-seven million square miles of land on the earth. 
The white man uses only six million square miles; the black man 
uses nearly four times that amount: twenty-three million square 

In two corners of the room, facing the audience, the speaker's 
bodyguards stood: two large, powerful black men with narrowed, 


Clark Howard 

darting eyes that constantly scanned the attentive faces. These 
men accompanied the speaker everywhere, one of them driving the 
Continental in which he rode, the other opening doors for him 
wherever he went. 

"So on the earth today," the speaker continued, "there are 
more black men than white, and the black men occupy and use 
more land than the white." He stopped strolling and his voice took 
on a noticeable edge. "Why then has the white man been able to 
set himself up as our superior? Why has he been able to control our 
race for four hundred years? To answer that question" — the fo- 
refinger went up again — "we must go back in time and learn how 
the white man came to be." 

The speaker returned to the center of the wall and faced his audi- 
ence. Something seemed to be happening to his eyes; they were be- 
coming wider, and whiter. 

"A thousand years ago, near the holy city of Mecca, there lived 
an evil black leader named Yakub. He desired to create a race of 
weak people that he and his ancestors could rule forever. To do 
this, he began to study the black race. He learned that in every 
black man there exists two germs: a black germ and a brown germ. 
He found a way to separate the brown germs from the black germs, 
and he put the brown germs into all the healthy, strong girls among 
his followers who were at least sixteen years of age. As they pro- 
duced babies, he had the black ones separated and fed to wild 
beasts, but he had the brown ones carefully nursed and raised to 
adults. Then he passed a law that blacks who were alike could not 
marry; only those who were unlike could marry. Black had to mar- 
ry brown. Dark had to marry light, and light had to marry lighter. 

"Yakub was pleased because he saw his people becoming weak- 
er and weaker, while he and those who ruled with him remained 
black and strong. For six hundred years there continued this pro- 
cess of grafting brown from black, and lighter brown from darker 
brown, until finally the original black blood had thinned so much 
and become so weak that the germ it carried lost all its color and 
became white. Weak, wicked white." 

From the audience came several low grunts of disapproval. The 
speaker nodded agreement with them. 

"By the time the descendants of Yakub realized what had been 



done, it was too late. The grafted white devils had spread over the 
earth and were teaching lessons about a new, mysterious god that 
no one could see until after death. Soon eighty-five percent of the 
people on earth were being taught about this mystery god. They 
were being taught by ten percent who were clever and crafty and 
desired to lead them. Only a scant five percent of the earth's popu- 
lation remained righteously believing in the true god, Allah." 

The speaker raised his forefinger like a vengeful sword. "For 
four hundred years these white infidels have spread their false reli- 
gion over the land like a great dirty plague, trying to put out the 
light of Allah. Christians and Jews alike are guilty of setting up ri- 
vals to Allah. Both are black-slave-making religions dedicated to 
the mental destruction of the black man. They are the enemies of 
Allah and they are the sole people responsible for leading astray 
nine-tenths of the world's black population!" 

"Evil!" one of the men in the audience said loudly. 

The speaker's eyes widened even more. His voice grew raspy, 
hissing. "For four hundred years this grafted white devil has con- 
trolled the earth and manipulated the black man. For four hundred 
years he has castrated black men, raped black women, and 
stomped the heads of little black babies!" 

"Devils!" said a voice in the audience. It was the same man who 
had spoken before. He was a thick-necked black man with a clean- 
shaven skull and eyes like bullet holes. The only soft feature of his 
entire presence was his long, almost feminine eyelashes. Under the 
overhead light, his shiny skull glistened. Call this man Head. 

"For four hundred years," the speaker now began to rant, "we, 
the true followers of Allah, the true Muslims of the earth, have 
suffered persecution at the hands of this grafted white devil who 
came from our very own diluted seed! We have been relegated to 
ghettos, deprived of a decent education, victimized in the labor 
market, and sent to the white man's prisons!" The forefinger 
whipped across the audience. "There are some in this very room 
who can give witness to the injustices wreaked on us in the white 
man's prisons!" 

"Right on!" said Head. He was one who could give such wit- 

"All right!" said a young, light-skinned Negro next to him. So 


Clark Howard 

light that his skin had faint freckles on it, he was seven years 
younger than Head, who was twenty-eight, and handsome in a boy- 
ish way. Unlike Head, he could not give witness to anything about 
the white man's prison, because he had never even been arrested, 
much less incarcerated. In the muted overhead light, with the dark 
contrast of Head next to him, he looked almost yellow-skinned. 
Call him Yellow. 

"But we do not need the white man's prisons to prove to us that 
the white man is our enemy," the Vandyked speaker continued. 
"We need only to study our lessons from this — " He removed a 
small book from his inside pocket. ''Message to the Black Man," 
he said, lowering his voice to a reverent tone to read the book's ti- 
tle. Opening the cover, he recited a prayer on the first page. "In the 
name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful Savior, to whom 
all praise is due for raising up among us a Divine Leader, Teacher, 
and Guide, the most honorable Elijah Muhammad. As-salaam- 

"As-salaam-alaikum," the audience repeated in concert. It was 
a traditional Muslim saying, "Peace be with you." 

"Turn to the subject of Islam in this book and you will find your 
answer as to who is the enemy of Allah," the speaker said. "Turn 
to the fourth question and the fourth answer and you will see, you 
will learn. Listen! The fourth question: 'Does Allah have enemies, 
and who are they?' The fourth answer: 'The enemies of Allah are 
known at the present as the white race or European race, who are 
the sole people responsible for misleading nine-tenths of the total 
population of the black nation.' That" — he stabbed the air above 
him with his forefinger — "tells us who our enemy is. Now you tell 

"The grafted white devil!" said Head. 

"White devils!" said Yellow. 

"Whites — whites — whites!" said the others in a low chant. 

Only one man in the audience did not respond. He was the third 
man who sat on the couch with Head and Yellow. He was the same 
age as Head, and like Head had been in the white man's prison. 
The two had met in San Quentin; this one had only recently been 
released. Nothing about his appearance was unusual; he had nei- 



ther the boyish good looks of Yellow, nor the cold-eyed counte- 
nance of Head. He was simply ordinary-looking. What was ex- 
traordinary about him lay under the surface, unseen. It rested in 
his hands, which were lethal, and his feet, which were deadly. He 
was an expert at kung fu and jujitsu. Call this one Judo. 

"Now that we know the enemy," the speaker said, "what do we 
do about him?" He smiled, parting the hair around his pink lips. 
"Simply read the laws of Mohammed. Read the tenth lesson, 
which asks, 'Why does Mohammed and any Moslem murder the 
devil?' And answers, 'Because the devil is one hundred percent 
wicked and will not keep and obey the laws of Islam. His ways and 
actions are like a snake of the grafted type. Mohammed has 
learned that he cannot reform the white devils, so they must be 
murdered. All Moslems will murder the white devil because they 
know he is a snake. Each Moslem is required to kill four devils, 
and by bringing and presenting four at one time, his reward is a but- 
ton to wear on the lapel of his coat, and free transportation to the 
holy city of Mecca to see Brother Mohammed." 

"Praise Brother Mohammed!" the men in the audience said as 
one voice. Again except for Judo, who remained silent. 

"The lessons are clear," the speaker said. His eyes were very 
wide now, the eyeballs quivering white globes that rolled over the 
faces before him. "The lessons say who the enemy is!" 

"Right on!" 

"The lessons say what to do about the enemy!" 

"Right on!" 

"Kill the grafted snake!" 

"Kill it!" 

"Kill the evil whites!" 

"Kill them!" 

"Kill the blue-eyed devils!" 

"Kill! Kill! Kill!" 

The chant was low, murmured, sloshing across the room like 
dirty water in a flooded basement. It came from mechanized 
mouths below mesmerized eyes, robotlike, hypnotic, uncontrolla- 

While the chant was going on, the speaker quietly left. His body- 


Clark Howard 

guards opened the doors for him and followed him downstairs and 
out back to where the Continental was parked. They drove away 
into the night. 

Behind, in the loft, the chant went on, created by the voices of 
all the men who had listened to the speaker. All but one. 


Anthony Cornelius Harris, number B-35599, sat on a bench on 
the upper yard at San Quentin and watched the activity around him 
through narrowed eyes. It was spring of 1973 and Harris was near- 
ing the end of the second year of his second term in prison. This 
time he was in for burglary; earlier he had served nearly two and a 
half years for battery on a police officer. The battery had occurred 
when Harris and his brother Pinky had been fighting on the street in 
Long Beach. A policeman tried to break them up. Harris, a judo 
expert, had turned on the officer and disabled him in seconds. Ar- 
rested and tried, he was given a six-months-to-ten-years sentence 
and committed to San Quentin. 

Some men hated prison, but Harris did not even dislike it, not re- 
ally. In a way, being in prison was an easy life. Except for the 
absence of women, the only thing that disagreed with him was the 
boredom. He found the life extremely boring at times. Such as now 
when he had nothing to do but sit on the yard and watch other con- 
victs who also had nothing to do. He had a job in the bookbindery 
but it only took up part of his day. The rest of the time he was idle. 
He had tried to enroll in elementary-school classes — he only had a 
third-grade education — but his request was denied because San 
Quentin's school enrollment was then out of balance ethnicwise. 
Too many blacks, not enough whites and Chicanos. Later, per- 
haps, he was told. So he sat on the yard, bored. 

Harris leaned his head back and closed his eyes all the way. His 
lids shut out the glare of the Northern California sun that burned 
into the upper yard. He wished he had a nice cold bottle of pop 
right then. The canteen was open; all he had to do was walk down 
to the lower yard and buy one, but he only had a couple of dollars 
in his inmate account, so he decided against it. He rarely had much 
money for prison luxuries — pop, gum, candy, snack food to keep 



in his cell — because his wife would not deposit any money in his 
account unless he allowed her to visit him — and that he would not 
do. His wife was white; it would have been embarrassing, if not 
downright dangerous, to let her visit. The way things were in Q at 
that time — three distinct cliques: white, black, and Chicano — his 
position as a loner, a judo fighter who wanted to serve his own 
time, would have been seriously jeopardized if it got around that he 
had a white wife. For the first few months after he came back for 
his second rap, he had lived in dread fear that some inmate clerk in 
the records office would read his package and spread the word 
about it. Then, judo fighter or not, he would have had to take heavy 
flak from both the black and white convict communities. Better to 
do without cold pop on a hot day. 

As he sat on the bench with his head back and eyes closed, a 
loudspeaker blared across the yard, "attention, all inmates! 


TO attend!" 

Anthony Harris opened his eyes. For a moment he stared 
transfixed at the ground in front of him. Then he sighed quietly, 
rose, and slowly walked off toward the auditorium. At least it 
would be something to do. 

A little while after the speaker left, the chanting in the loft 
stopped and the dozen black men dispersed. It was dusk. Head, 
Yellow, and Judo crossed the rear parking lot to a white Dodge 
van. Yellow got behind the wheel, Head took the passenger seat, 
and Judo sat in back on a stack of folded furniture moving pads. 

Yellow turned to Head. "Where to, man?" 

"Go south on Mission," said Head. He stretched his muscular 
arms and threw a tight smile over his shoulder at Judo. "I'm glad 
it's the weekend, man. Gives us lots of time to get even with the 
motherfuckers for all the nights we spent in Q." He half turned in 
his seat, waiting for an answer from Judo. When one was not forth- 
coming, he prompted, "Right, man?" 


Clark Howard 

"Yeah, man, right," Judo replied. He hoped Head did not notice 
the lack of enthusiasm in his voice. Head could be very vicious 
when he got mad. 

Yellow drove along Mission Street, down the middle of the San 
Francisco peninsula. Head watched out the front and side win- 
dows, his bullet-hole eyes looking, scanning, searching. 

"Hey, man, tell me some more about Q," said Yellow with boy- 
ish enthusiasm. It was a regular question with him. He was the kid 
asking the big guys about the service. Never having been arrested, 
he had a morbid curiosity about prison. It fascinated him. 

"Ain't nothin' to tell, man," said Head. "It's a fucking white 
man's joint. I'm just glad I be out, man. I been waiting a long time 
to pay my respects to my white enemies." 

"Hey, man, you tell me about it," Yellow said to Judo. 

Judo sighed. The question was getting old. "What you want to 
know now, man?" 

"Did you hate it in there?" 

"I didn't hate it. It wasn't too bad." 

Head threw him a contemptuous look. "Man, what the fuck's 
the matter with you? You been in that fucking place two times and 
all you can say is, 'It wasn't too bad.' Shit." He looked back at 
Judo. "You better get your head on right and start thinking vicious, 
man. You a black man and you've gone through four hundred fuck- 
ing years of slavery." Head twisted around in the seat. "Some- 
times I wonder about you, man. Sometimes I wonder what kind of 
heart you got." 

"Don't worry none about it," Judo replied with an edge. "Ain't 
nothing the matter with my heart." 

"We'll see," said Head. He faced forward again and his expres- 
sion became set. "We each gonna try to get one white kid tonight. 
It be the first of four that we all need." 

"Say, man, I want to ask you about that," said Judo. "The man 
tonight, he say four white devils. He don't say nothing about no 
kids. How come you looking for kids?" 

"Because the man, he only be talking about what it take to be a 
regular Muslim. What we talking about is what it take to be a Death 



Judo rolled his eyes upward. The Death Angels. They were back 
to that shit again. 

Leaving that first Muslim meeting in San Quentin, Anthony Har- 
ris was approached by a thick-necked black man with a clean-shav- 
en skull and eyes like bullet holes. His name was Jesse Lee Cooks. 
He was serving the last year of a seven-and-a-half -year sentence 
for armed robbery. 

"Say, brother, what's happening?" Cooks asked. 

Harris shrugged. "Ain't much." 

"You the one knows judo and that stuff, ain't that right?" 

"I know some, yeah." 

"How 'bout teaching it to me?" Cooks asked. 

"I don't know, man," Harris said hesitantly. "It takes a long 
time to learn." 

"Hey, baby, I got the time, you know what I mean?" Cooks 
said. He smiled, but it was not a pleasant smile; it was cold, me- 

"What about the guards?" Harris asked, looking for a re- 
spectable way out. 

"Fuck the guards," said Cooks. "Prisoners got rights too, man. 
Long as we don't do no disrupting, they can't stop us." 

"What do you jvant to learn?" Harris asked. Maybe he could 
teach Cooks a few simple holds and throws, and let it go at that. 

"I want to learn how to bust a heart with a punch to the chest," 
the thick-necked black said. "And how to come up behind some- 
body and snap their neck. I want to learn how to kill, man." He 
took Harris by the arm and led him to a private corner. "See, man, 
in San Francisco they got what's called the Death Angels. It's a 
special part of the Muslims. The job of the Death Angels is to off 
white chumps, see? But you got to prove that you can kill before 
they'll let you in. So I want to learn how to kill. How 'bout it, 

Harris shrugged resignedly. "I guess," he said. Why not? he 
asked himself. It was better than being bored. And it did not look 
like he was going to get into the prison school. 

So he began teaching judo and kung fu to Jesse Lee Cooks. 


Clark Howard 
* * * 

"Turn up Tingley Street," Head told Yellow. 'There's usually 
white kids out playing in this neighborhood." 

Yellow turned off Mission into Tingley. 

"I still don't see why we need kids," Judo said from the rear of 
the van. 

"Oh, man," Head said irritably. He slapped Yellow on the arm. 
"Explain it to the dude, will you?" 

Yellow glanced at Judo in the rearview mirror. "Offing white 
kids is the quickest way to get into the Death Angels," he said. 
"See, they figure it's harder for a grown man to kill a kid or a wom- 
an than it is for him to kill a man. Killing mens is easy. To get into 
the Death Angels, you gots to kill nine white men. Killing women is 
harder, so you only gots to kill five. Killing kids is the hardest; alls 
you need is four of them." 

"Turn here and go over to the next street," Head instructed. 

Yellow drove over to Theresa Street. They cruised the block, 
searching. There were no children out. 

"Try the next street," Head directed. "Just keep going." 

Yellow drove down Cotter Street. No children. 

"Next street." Head's voice was surly; his patience was thin- 

Yellow drove along Francis Street. Near the corner they saw 
two white children in front of the steps of a house, and a third 
white youngster coming down the steps to meet them. 

"Perfect," said Head. "One for each of us." He patted Yel- 
low's arm. "Pull over and park, brother." 

The girl coming down the steps of her home at 41 Francis Street 
was eleven-year-old Michele Denise Carrasco. She was a slender 
child with huge, dark eyes and a quick, tentative smile. Her dark 
hair was parted in the middle and fell to each shoulder. 

Inside the house, Michele's brother Greg was having a birthday 
party. Michele was out on the steps to see her friend, twelve-year- 
old Marie Stewart. The two girls attended nearby Corpus Christi 
School together. On this evening, Marie's fifteen-year-old brother 
Frank, a Unity Junior High School student, had walked over to Mi- 
chele's house with his sister. The two of them were waiting on the 



steps When Michele came out. As they began talking, all of them 
noticed two black men walking toward them. The youngsters con- 
tinued talking until the men came up to them and stopped. 

"Say," Head said to Michele Carrasco, "where's Mission 

Michele pointed toward the corner. "Up there, one block," she 

Head looked around nervously. His hands played with the front 
of his black leather jacket. The other man, Judo, slipped one hand 
inside the black Nehru coat he wore. 

"Where's Mission Street?" Head asked again. 

Michele frowned. "I told you: down there one block." 

Her words were barely out when Head drew a gun from his 
waistband. He grabbed the girl roughly by her arm. "Just be qui- 
et," Head warned, pointing the gun at her. "Just be quiet and fol- 
low us." 

Judo was on the curb, blocking any possible escape by Frank 
and Marie Stewart. He still had one hand inside his Nehru coat. 

The youngsters were marched three abreast along the sidewalk. 
Head walked on the inside, continuing to hold Michele' s arm, the 
gun at her back. Judo kept to the outside, his free hand holding 
Frank Stewart's elbow. 

"Hey, have you guys been drinking?" Frank asked. Maybe it 
was some kind of joke. 

"Shut up!" Head snapped. 

They walked toward the van, which was parked facing them on 
Francis just off the next cross street, Alemany Boulevard. Yellow 
was standing beside the van waiting for them. He was shifting his 
weight from foot to foot as if he had to go to the bathroom. 

"Get the door open," Head told Yellow as they approached. 
Yellow hurried to the side of the van. 

"Listen, is this a joke?" Michele asked. The black man was 
hurting her arm and had a wild look in his eyes. He forced her to- 
ward the back of the van. 

Suddenly Frank Stewart jerked away from Judo and yelled, 
"Cops!" His sister, who was in the middle being held by no one, 
darted to his side. They both started running. 

"Oh, man!" Head said angrily to Judo. 


Clark Howard 

With the black man's attention momentarily distracted, Michele 
jerked her own arm away and also started running. Because the 
black men and the van were between her and her house, Michele 
had to run in the opposite direction. She ran to the nearby corner 
and hurried down Alemany Boulevard. 

Back at the van, Head glared at Judo. "Man, you fucked up!" 

"No worse than you, motherfucker!" Judo snapped. 

Yellow was already getting behind the wheel. "Come on, let's 
get the fuck out of here!" he said in a breaking voice. Now he did 
have to go to the bathroom; several drops of urine had already 
spotted his trousers. 

Michele was still running. Down Alemany one block to Santa 
Rosa; around another corner and down another street; unable to 
run home, she was heading for the next safest place she knew: the 
rectory of Corpus Christi Catholic Church. 

Frank and Marie Stewart were safe by now. They had reached 
the Carrasco home and the police were being called. On the next 
street over, at the church, a priest named Father Gerald took the 
terrified Michele by the hand and started walking her home. 

And in the van, Yellow was making a U-turn and swinging north 
on Alemany Boulevard to get out of the area. Next to him, Head 
was muttering, "Motherfucker! Motherfucker!" 

Judo, in the back, was trying to keep his trembling hands out of 

Anthony Harris had first learned to fear Jesse Lee Cooks after 
he began teaching him judo in San Quentin. Cooks was different 
from anyone Harris had ever known — although in what way he was 
different, Harris was not certain. At times, Harris thought it was 
simply because Cooks was more dangeous than other men, but 
there were times too when he was certain that it was because 
Cooks was less sane than other men. The man's capacity for evil 
thinking seemed to Harris to be without bounds. 

"What I plan to do someday," Cooks told him, "is raid a white 
orphanage and take all the little white kids by their feet and swing 
them like a baseball bat and smash their brains out against the 

Another time he said, "I'd like to raid one of those hospitals 



where old white people live. You know, man, one of those places 
where they just sit around all day slobbering all over theyselves. 
Man, I'd like to just go through a place like that and off them all, 
every one of the old motherfuckers. Use a blade and really hack 
them up." 

It never occurred to Harris that perhaps Jesse Cooks's dreams of 
carnage were all founded in cowardice. Cooks always planned to 
attack children or old people or women. Never anyone who might 
fight back. Always the weak, the helpless. 

Harris continued to train Cooks nevertheless. He also began 
training other members of what was called the San Quentin 
Mosque of the Nation of Islam. As Harris had skeptically predict- 
ed, the prison guards did not like what he was teaching, but — as the 
institutionwise Cooks had told him — there was nothing they could 
do about it. The judo sessions were quiet and orderly; they broke 
no rules, caused no trouble. Still, the guards must have had uneasy 
feelings as they patrolled the exercise yard and watched someone 
like Jesse Lee Cooks learning to gouge out eyes, crush a larynx, 
snap a neck, and burst a heart with a single powerful blow to the 

While Harris was teaching, he was also learning. After formally 
becoming a member of the mosque, he was invited to attend lec- 
tures which came into the prison on cassettes. The lectures 
preached black superiority, reminded those who listened of the 
preceding four hundred years of abuse, and openly encouraged ac- 
tive revenge against white devils. Prison officials often found the 
contents of the tapes repugnant, but they were unable to suppress 
them. Muslimism was a religion, and freedom of religious choice 
was a guaranteed right — even for convicts. 

Gradually the taped lectures and other indoctrinations began to 
have a collective effect on Anthony Harris. He began to think less 
and less of his white wife, and daydreamed about marrying a black 
girl. He also shunned going to school when an opening finally be- 
came available. "I changed my mind," he told the counselor. "I 
don't want any part of the white educational system." 

When he was being evaluated for possible future parole, Harris 
was asked to give his version of the crime that sent him to prison 
for the second time. "I was living with my wife in an apartment 


Clark Howard 

down in Santa Ana," he said. "A couple of guys my brother knew 
needed a place to stay, so I let them stay with us. Then me and my 
wife, we went down to San Diego for the weekend, see. An' when 
we come back, our TV and stereo and some of our furniture had 
been pawned to this here pawnshop, and the two friends of my 
brother was gone. My old lady was pretty upset about it, but I 
didn't have no money to get the stuff back. Well, she kept bitchin' 
and yelling about it, so finally I said okay, goddamn it, I'll go out 
and steal the money to take the stuff out of pawn. " 

He had gone out that night and burglarized the Charles Haynes 
Realty Company in Long Beach. His loot amounted to one hun- 
dred dollars petty cash and a few postage stamps. A month later, 
while riding in a car with two other men, the three of them were ar- 
rested on suspicion of armed robbery because they fit the descrip- 
tion of a holdup trio. The charge was subsequently dropped, but 
during the proceedings the Haynes Realty burglary came up and 
was eventually blamed on Harris. He confessed and pled guilty to 
one count of second-degree burglary. He was sentenced to serve 
from six months to fifteen years, and returned to prison as a 

In San Quentin, Harris first worked in Food Service, dishing out 
food in the dining room. Then he was assigned to Waterfront and 
worked on the docks. Eventually he was moved to Vocational 
Bookbinding. That was when he had asked to go to school but was 
refused because too many blacks were already enrolled. He also 
asked to learn to be a baker, thinking it would be a good occupation 
when he was released. But the counselors told him he was not 
smart enough for that trade. Finally he drifted into the Black Mus- 

In mid-August of 1973, Anthony Harris said good-bye to Jesse 
Lee Cooks when the latter was paroled. Harris himself was sched- 
uled for parole within the next two months. 

The two Black Muslims instinctively knew they would see each 
other on the outside. 

After the fiasco with the three white children, the men in the van 
were nervous and shaken. Head was furious with Judo. 

"Man, you fucked up!" he accused again, his naturally petulant 
mouth puffed into a sullen pout. 



"No more than you did," Judo replied, detesting the weakness 
he could hear in his own voice. 

Head picked up at once on that weakness. "You got piss for 
blood, man! You not fit to be a Death Angel!" 

"Fuck you, motherfucker," said Judo. It was all he could think 
of to say. 

"Quit bitchin' at one another," Yellow said. He glanced at 
Head. "Tell me where to go, man." 

Head looked out the window to get his bearings. They were on 
the Bayshore Freeway now, heading north, passing San Francisco 
General Hospital. "Keep on going," Head told him. "All the way 
to the end of the freeway." He ignored both of them then and sat 
muttering to himself. 

Yellow followed the curving, turning freeway toward its ter- 
minus near the Embarcadero. The men did not speak to each other 
for the fifteen minutes or so that the drive took. Yellow concentrat- 
ed on his driving, keeping the van in a middle lane and well within 
the speed limit. Judo laced his fingers together and gripped tightly 
to control his trembling. He silently cursed Head for being so accu- 
rate in his evaluation. Judo had been frightened back there; in pris- 
on vernacular, he did have piss for blood. He glanced up and saw 
that Head's lips were still moving as the bald man continued to 
mutter under his breath. 

Yellow drove off the freeway and cruised along Battery Street. 
"Where to now?" he asked Head. 

"Man, I don't give a shit where," Head replied crossly. He spot- 
ted a lone white man waiting to cross the street at Battery and Val- 
lejo. "Pull over right there," he said. "I'll kill that motherfucker 
right on the corner." 

Judo's mouth dropped open. "Man, you crazy! You just asking 
to go back to Q." He slapped Yellow on the shoulder. "Keep driv- 
ing, man." 

"I said stop here!" Head repeated. He snatched the pistol from 
his belt but did not point it at anyone. 

"No, keep driving, man!" Judo ordered. "I ain't going back to 
the shithouse on account of this crazy motherfucker." Judo looked 
into Head's eyes and saw the glare of murder. He slipped one hand 
under his Nehru coat in case Head lost control and decided to start 
shooting. The feel of his own gun was reassuring. 


Clark Howard 

"Hey, man, he's right," Yellow said to a now extremely agitated 
Head. "This ain't no place to do one. Besides, I want a woman or a 
kid; it takes too many men to get Death Angel wings." 

Death Angel wings were awarded to each man who killed four 
white children, five white women, or nine white men. Upon com- 
pletion of the required quota, a new member's photograph was tak- 
en and a pair of black wings were drawn extending from the neck. 
The photo was mounted on a board along with pictures of other 
successful candidates, and the board was displayed on an easel at 
the loft meetings. At that time, there were fifteen accredited Death 
Angels in California. To achieve their collective membership, they 
had already quietly killed throughout the state 135 white men, 75 
white women, 60 white children — or enough of a combination 
thereof to give each of them his required four, five, or nine credits. 
This was October of 1973. The California attorney general's office 
had already secretly compiled a list of forty-five of those killings 
which had taken place in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, 
Berkeley, Long Beach, Signal Hill, Santa Barbara, Palo Alto, Pa- 
cifica, San Diego, and Los Angeles; and in the counties of San 
Mateo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Contra Costa, Ventura, and 
Alameda. All of the victims were white. All the known suspects in 
the killings had been associated with the Black Muslim movement. 
The killings were even then continuing throughout the state. 

"Come on, man, I want me a white woman or a kid, hear?" said 
Yellow. "I don't want to fuck with no men." He drove past the 
man on the corner. Head muttered something but did not object 

Yellow turned left off Battery and began cruising the Telegraph 
Hill area. 

In their apartment at 399 Chestnut Street, Richard Hague and his 
wife Quita decided to go for a walk after dinner. It was a pleasant 
evening. Richard put on a light cardigan; Quita pulled a yellow- 
and-orange South American woolen shawl around her shoulders, 
over the sweatshirt and cardigan she already had on. They left the 
apartment and walked west on Chestnut, toward Columbus Ave- 

Richard Hague, age thirty, was a mining engineer employed in 
the San Francisco office of Utah International Company. Quita, 



two years younger, was a reporter for the Industrial City press in 
South San Francisco. The previous month they had celebrated 
their seventh wedding anniversary. 

As they walked downhill on Chestnut, they held hands. 

Richard and Quita Hague were white. 

"There you are, man," Head said to Yellow when he saw the 
young white couple. "There's a woman for you and a man for 

"What about him?" asked Yellow, bobbing his chin toward Judo 
and speaking as if he were not even present. 

"His heart ain't ready," Head replied with a sneer. 

"Fuck you, man!" Judo snapped. 

"Pull over there by the corner," Head instructed, ignoring Judo. 

Yellow parked on the north side of Chestnut, near the corner of 
Powell. The young white couple was walking along the south side 
of the street, toward the same corner. 

"You stay with the van like before," Head told Yellow. He 
turned to Judo. "You gonna help or not, man?" he asked coldly. 
Head and Judo locked eyes. Head's question was a direct chal- 
lenge and Judo knew it. 

"I'm right behind you, man," said Judo. At that moment he hat- 
ed Head. 

Head and Judo got out of the van and strolled across the street. 
They stepped onto the sidewalk a hundred feet in front of the white 
couple. They separated: Head stood at the curb, Judo leaned 
against a fence across the sidewalk. The white couple would have 
to walk between them. 

Quita Hague frequently had trouble with people mispronouncing 
her name. Most people pronounced it as it was spelled, coming up 
with something like "Quee-ta." The correct pronunciation was 
"Kee-ta." She had developed a clever way to point out the correct 
pronunciation: She would say, "Just think of me as 'Quita Bana- 
na.' " It worked like a charm. 

Quita was a vivacious, outgoing young woman with a keen, often 
infectious sense of humor. She was quick to laugh at her own mis- 
fortunes, such as running out of gas on the Bayshore Freeway at 
midnight. Her pixie grin and freckles often caused people to mis- 


Clark Howard 

take her for Irish. But her maiden name was Pirelli-Minetti, and 
one of the things she was most proud of in life was that her grand- 
father, a vineyard specialist, had been one of the earliest graduates 
of Stanford University, in the class of 1906. 

As she walked with her husband this evening, Quita was looking 
forward to Christmas. She liked Christmas better than any other 
holiday. It was still two months away, but she habitually started 
thinking about it early. Whenever the season approached, she was 
always reminded of the first Christmas she and Richard had spent 
together. They had been married four months and were living in 
South West Africa where Richard was employed as a geologist. 
There was no such thing as an evergreen Christmas tree to be 
found, so Quita decided that they should decorate a camelthorn 
bush, which had an abundance of small green leaves as well as 
countless tiny thorns. It, along with an uncommonly tough turkey 
and sweltering temperatures, did little to bring them any of the tra- 
ditional holiday spirit. They ended up celebrating Christmas at a lo- 
cal swimming pool to escape the heat. 

It had not been much of a first Christmas, but for the sentimental 
Quita it was a memory she cherished. 

She held Richard's hand a little tighter as they walked down 
Chestnut — toward two black men lounging on opposite sides of the 

As the Hagues started to walk between them, Head reached out 
and grabbed Richard by the arm. "Hold it, man. Don't move. You 
coming with us." 

Judo stepped away from the fence and leveled a gun at them. He 
was standing downhill, looking up at them. Richard froze. But not 

"No, no, no," she said, frightened, her voice breaking. She bolt- 
ed past Judo and ran several yards downhill. 

Now Head drew a gun. He pointed it at Richard's chest. "Get on 
back up here, woman," he said to Quita, "or I'll kill him." 

The eyes of Quita Hague and her husband met for a split instant 
in the dull gray of the streetlight. 

"They already have us," said Richard. "Let's cooperate. They 
won't hurt us." 



Reluctantly, hesitantly, Quita walked back up to where her hus- 
band was being held. Judo took her arm. 

"Over to that van," Head said. Still holding Richard's arm, he 
guided him across the narrow street. Judo followed a step behind 
with Quita. 

Yellow saw them coming. He hopped out and ran around to open 
the cargo door on the passenger side. 

"Get in there," Head ordered, shoving Richard toward the van. 
Hague climbed into the van. "Move over there and lay down," 
said Head. "On your stomach." Hague crawled over and stretched 
out facedown next to the furniture pads stacked in the bed of the 

"Now you." Head nodded to Quita. 

"No!" she said, terrified again. She started to run a second time. 
Yellow, younger and faster than either Head or Judo, reached out 
and grabbed her by the hair. He jerked her back and slammed her 
against the side of the van. She groaned and started to go limp. 

"Get in there!" Yellow snapped, grabbing her under the arm, up 
close to the shoulder, and manhandling her into the van. He made 
her stretch out behind the passenger seat, facedown like her hus- 
band was lying. "You lay there, bitch!" he said in his ugly, boyish 
voice. The urine had dried on his trousers now and he felt better. 
More like a man. 

Then suddenly he heard something that made even his bowels 

"Shit, man!" Judo hissed. "A fucking cop car is coming!" 

Police officers Bruce Marovich and Ben McAllister were pro- 
ceeding slowly down Chestnut toward Powell. McAllister was 
driving the black-and-white radio car; Marovich was in the passen- 
ger seat, routinely checking the street. As they passed the middle 
of the block, Marovich observed some activity on the sidewalk 
next to where a light-colored Dodge van was parked. He frowned, 
studying the situation, as the radio car slowly passed the van. Ma- 
rovich had been a policeman for more than five years. He could see 
nothing really suspicious occurring at the van, and yet — 

"Hold it a minute," he said to McAllister. "Back up next to that 
white van." 


Clark Howard 

McAllister backed up. As they halted parallel to the van, Head 
walked around to them. 

"What's going on?" Marovich asked out the passenger window. 

"Everything's okay, Officer," Head said with a smile. "We had 
a flat and we're fixing it." 

Behind Head, Marovich could see another black man. He was 
vaguely aware of still a third person around by the open cargo 
door. But nothing seemed out of order. The two blacks he could 
see up close were neatly dressed, well-groomed men; certainly not 
hubcap thieves. 

Marovich thought about it for a moment. Then he said, "Okay." 

He nodded to his partner and they drove on, continuing their pa- 

Minutes later, the van was on the freeway again, heading south 
toward the railroad yards below the Central Basin. Yellow was 
driving. Head was in the rear, astraddle Richard Hague, tying his 
hands behind him with heavy twine. Judo was next to him, astrad- 
dle Quita. Her hands were already tied. Judo had her rolled onto 
her side; one hand was up under her sweat shirt, feeling her 

Yellow glanced in the rearview mirror and saw Head looking 
through Richard Hague's wallet. "We not allowed to steal, man," 
he said. 

"You just drive," Head snapped. "I ain't doing nothing but just 
looking." He closed the wallet and shoved it back into Richard's 
pocket. Then he rolled Hague over and started going through his 
front pockets. 

Hague raised his head and saw that Judo was doing something to 
Quita. "What are you doing to her?" he asked. 

Judo, angered at being watched by the white woman's husband, 
reached over and hit him in the mouth. "Shut up, motherfucker!" 
He glanced at Head. "Man, make him keep his fucking face 

"Keep your face down, motherfucker!" Head ordered. 

Hague raised his head again, blood running over his bottom lip 
from Judo's backhand. "What is he doing to her?" 

Head reached behind him and picked up a straight lug wrench. 
"I done told you to keep your white motherfucking face down!" 



He swung the lug wrench and smashed Richard Hague's jaw. 
Hague's head flopped back as if his neck were broken; blood 
gushed from his nostrils. Head hit him again, breaking his jaw in 
two more places. "I told the motherfucker once," he mumbled. "I 
don't tell no motherfucker twice." He hit him with the lug wrench 
a third time. 

"Rick — " Quita said. It was little more than a plaintive whisper. 

"Shut up, bitch," said Judo. He had Quita on her back now, 
sweat shirt and cardigan pushed up around her neck, fondling her 
exposed breasts with both hands. 

Head got off the unconscious Richard and moved over to them. 
He put his hand between Quita' s legs and started rubbing her 
through her jeans. Quita's hands were tied behind her back and she 
was lying on them. She had made fists and was arching her body up 
to relieve the pain in her wrists. Head thought she was pushing her 
lower body up because he was rubbing her. "You like that, baby?" 
he asked with a lewd grin. He looked around Judo at her face. 
"You suck dick, baby?" 

"Hey, man," said Yellow at the wheel, "we supposed to kill the 
white devils, not fuck with them." 

Head ignored him. He was trying to unbuckle a wide leather belt 
that Quita wore on her jeans, but he could not manage it because 
Judo was sitting too far back on her. He tried to get his hand to the 
zipper to unzip the fly, but he could not reach that either. "Shit, 
man," he said in frustration. He unzipped his own trousers and re- 
leased his erection. 

Yellow looked over his shoulder. "We don't supposed to be 
fucking with these white devils," he warned again. "We only sup- 
posed to kill them." 

Head had one hand curled around his hard penis. "Ain't no rule 
says I can't fuck a white devil before we kill her," he argued. 
"Ain't that right, man?" he asked Judo, slapping him on the shoul- 

"Don't ask me, man," Judo replied. "I don't know no rules." 
Judo maneuvered around until he was not on top of Quita anymore 
but was kneeling beside her, near her neck. He bent and sucked 
one of her nipples. 

At the wheel, Yellow was becoming increasingly agitated. This 
was not the way it was supposed to be. Not sucking on the white 


Clark Howard 

devil's tits or trying to get inside her clothes. He glanced at the next 
off-ramp sign: Pennsylvania avenue. There were lonely, isolat- 
ed railroad spurs just east of Pennsylvania Avenue. Yellow 
stepped down on the accelerator and changed to the off-ramp lane. 

Quita Hague's face was turned to the wall of the van. Tears 
streamed down her cheeks, trailing into her mouth and onto her 
neck. Her hands felt numb. She could feel Judo's lips sucking her 
nipple raw; she could see Head walking toward her face on his 
knees, trousers open, black penis erect. And from the front of the 
van was the constant, whining voice talking about killing white 

"Please — please — " she begged. "Rape me — take my money — 
but please don't kill me — please — " 

"We won't, baby," said Head, "leastwise, not until we through 
with you — " 

Yellow got off the freeway, doubled back up Pennsylvania to 
Twenty-third Street, and drove under the freeway toward the in- 
dustrial area. As he had surmised, the neighborhood was quiet, de- 
void of activity. Past Indiana Avenue he drove, to Minnesota. He 
swung into Minnesota, feeling gravel replace pavement under the 
tires. In seconds he was past Twenty-fourth Street. He drove 
alongside a single-track railroad spur until it turned down a narrow 
alley of warehouses and loading docks. There he jammed on the 
brakes and skidded to a halt. 

"That white devil belongs to me!" he yelled. 

Yellow leaped from behind the wheel and ran to the cargo door. 
He threw it open with a vengeance and reached under the back of 
the passenger seat. When he drew his hand out again, it held a six- 
teen-inch machete. He made several chops at the air with it, as if 
testing it. 

"Say, man, be careful with that motherfucker," Head said, cov- 
ering his erection protectively. 

"This white devil is mine!" Yellow declared again. His voice 
was a loud hiss; the boyish features of his face were distorted: lips 
twisted, eyes narrowed to slits, Adam's apple throbbing. "I want 
her! She's mine!" 

"Yeah, right, man, take her," Judo agreed quickly. "Just watch 
out with that fucking sword." 

Yellow took Quita Hague by her thick, dark hair and dragged her 



from the van. She came out on her side and fell heavily to the 
ground. Yellow dragged her up to her knees, dragged her on her 
knees for several yards, then angrily, impatiently, pulled her to her 

"Oh, please — oh, no — " she pled, choking and crying. 

Yellow jerked viciously at her hair to make her keep up. She 
stumbled, staggered, almost fell. Her tied wrists were raw from the 
twine, her knees throbbing from falling on them and being dragged 
on them, her scalp a mass of pain as her hair was literally being 
pulled out by the roots. But she probably felt none of that agony 
because her entire being had to be laced with the terrible fear of im- 
pending death. She could see the machete in Yellow's hand. She 
must have known what he was going to do with it. 

"Oh, please — oh, no — " 

When Yellow got her where he wanted her, next to the railroad 
spur, he let go of her hair and used a hip throw to drop her to the 
ground. Judo, watching from next to the van, realized that it was a 
throw he himself had taught Yellow when he, Judo, first came out 
of prison. It was one of the basic jujitsu throws. Easy to execute. 
Particularly easy when applied to a terrified woman, forty pounds 
lighter, with her hands tied behind her back. 

"Oh, please — oh, no — " 

Yellow grabbed her by the hair again and dragged her across one 
of the rails. When he let go, a handful of her hair came out, en- 
twined in his fingers. Yellow stared at it in revulsion; he frantically 
shook his hand until the hair came loose and drifted to the ground. 

"Now your head is mine, white devil," Yellow said. 

"Oh, please — oh, no — please — " 

It was thelast time Quita would beg for her life. 

Yellow raised the machete high in the air and brought it down 
with all his strength on the throat of Quita Hague. 

Head and Judo were standing by the parked van when Yellow 
came running back over to them. 

"I did it! I did it!" Yellow shouted triumphantly. He threw his 
hands into the air, still holding the bloody machete, and did a brief 
victory dance. It was, Judo thought, not unlike the quick little 
dances that football players do in the end zone following a touch- 
down. Judo stared at Yellow's wild-eyed, frenzied grin. "You 


Clark Howard 

ought to see the blood gushing out of that devil's neck!" Yellow 
said. "It's wonderful, wonderful! I got to get a picture of it!" He 
shoved the machete into Head's hand and ran around the van. 
From under the driver's seat, he removed a Polaroid camera with 
flash attached. He hurried back to the railroad spur with it. 

Head stared at the bloodstained blade he held. "Blue-eyed 
devils," he muttered. "I wanted that bitch to suck my dick." He 
peered in at Richard Hague in the van. "I bet she sucked his dick," 
he said indignantly. "Blue-eyed motherfucker!" 

With sudden ferocity, Head reached in with the machete and 
hacked at the unconscious Richard Hague's face. He hacked 
twice. Three times. Then, drooling slightly over his puffy lips, he 
dragged the limp form out of the van and across the ground. 

Judo, wide-eyed, watched Head walk away, pulling Richard 
Hague by one arm behind him. Crazy, Judo thought, the mother- 
fucker is crazy. 

When Head approached the railroad spur, he saw a flashbulb ex- 
plode. Then another. Yellow taking pictures of his kill, he thought 
sullenly. He gots a woman and I only gots a man. Shit. 

Head dragged Richard Hague to the opposite side of the tracks 
from where Quita lay. A man's better than nothing, he thought. 
Leastwise, better than what Judo was getting tonight. As indiffer- 
ently as if he were chopping wood, Head began hacking away at 
Richard Hague's face. 

Across the tracks, Yellow finished taking pictures. He too 
thought briefly about Judo, waiting back at the van; Judo, who 
would get credit for no kill tonight. Then Yellow remembered a 
ring he had seen on Quita Hague's finger: a white gold ring with a 
green stone. He knew that Death Angels were not supposed to 
steal from their victims, but he decided to take the ring anyway — 
for Judo. His friend was getting married in a few days; maybe he 
could use the ring. Bending, Yellow rolled Quita sideways enough 
to expose her limp, tied wrists, and worked the ring off her finger. 

As Yellow stepped back across the tracks, he saw Head still 
hacking away. "Hey, brother, you want a picture of that devil?" 
he asked. 

"Don't need no picture, man," Head muttered. "If I say I killed 
the motherfucker, then I killed him. Don't need no picture." 

"Okay, brother." Yellow hurried back to the van. 



When he was alone again, Head took Richard Hague's wallet 
and slipped it into his own pocket. No one would ever know, he 
told himself. 

Several minutes later, Head returned to the van, tossed the 
bloody machete into the back, and got in. 

Without headlights, the van drove slowly away from the railroad 
spur and the carnage that had been spread over it. 

Shortly after eleven o'clock that night, John Battenberg and his 
wife Beverly were in their car driving west on Twenty-fifth Street. 
Battenberg was a forty-one-year-old professor of art at San Jose 
State University. As the Hagues had done earlier, the Battenbergs 
decided to get some air before going to bed. Unlike the Hagues, 
they drove instead of walking. 

As their car passed the intersection of Minnesota Avenue, the 
Battenbergs saw a figure lurch from the shadows and stagger to- 
ward the street. 

"Looks like he's drunk," said Beverly Battenberg. 

"Looks like," her husband agreed. Then John Battenberg took a 
closer look. "Wait a minute. That man's hands are tied behind his 

Battenberg pulled over and got out of the car. He hurried toward 
the lurching figure. 

It was Richard Hague. 

In shock, badly hacked about the face and head, Hague had done 
the incredible: he had clung to life, struggled to his feet with hands 
still tied, and set out on foot looking for help for his wife. 

Battenberg was appalled at what he saw. Richard Hague's head 
was horribly mutilated. The flesh had been hacked open down to 
the bone. His skull was open and exposed. Ghastly strips of skin 
hung from his face, dripping steady rivulets of blood. He was mut- 
tering incoherently . 

Battenberg untied Hague's hands, dropping the rough twine to 
the ground. He guided Hague to his car. Not sure where the near- 
est hospital was located, he drove to the nearby Potrero District 
police station. 

The van, meanwhile, had sped south on the freeway. It parked 
behind an apartment in the Hunters Point section. Judo went to the 


Clark Howard 

door of the apartment and knocked. The door was answered by a 
plump, round-faced young black woman dressed in Muslim robes. 

"As-salaam-alaikum" Judo said, speaking the Muslim greeting. 

"As-salaam-alaikum," she replied. 

"I need a favor," Judo said. "My friends and I need a place to 
wash up." 

The woman noticed dark spots on his Nehru coat and the pink 
shirt he wore under it. "What have you been doing?" she asked. 

Judo smiled. "We been out killing white folks," he said. His 
voice was half serious, half joking. He took the young woman's 
hand. "Listen, I don't want you mixed up in this. You go on in the 
bedroom and stay until they're gone. Don't ask no questions, 

She studied his eyes for a long moment, then she nodded and 
went into her bedroom. 

Head and Yellow washed up in the bathroom, scrubbing the 
Hagues's blood oft their hands and arms. Then the three men filled 
a small garbage can with water and took it out to the van. They re- 
moved the furniture pads and sluiced down the cargo floor, clean- 
ing out Richard Hague's blood. Yellow used the excess water to 
wash off the machete, and put it back under the passenger seat. 

When Yellow and Judo were away from Head momentarily, Yel- 
low gave Judo the ring he had taken from Quita Hague. "Just so's 
the night won't be a complete loss for you," he said. "Maybe you 
can use it at your wedding." 

"Thanks, man," Judo said. "I appreciate it." 

In the light of the kitchen, Judo examined the ring. Inside the 
band it was engraved: reh to qpm 9-17-66 all my love. 

Judo rubbed several tiny specks of red off the white gold and 
slipped the ring into his pocket. 

At the police station, John Battenberg ran up to the first occu- 
pied patrol car he saw and banged on the window. "I've got a man 
over here who may be dying!" 

Officers Donald Hensic and John Chestnut hurried to the Batten- 
berg car. They took one look at Richard Hague and immediately ra- 
dioed a request for a Code Three ambulance — emergency lights 
and siren. Within ten minutes, Hague was on his way to San Fran- 
cisco General Hospital. 



The two policemen, along with another team and a sergeant, re- 
turned with the Battenbergs to the intersection of Twenty-fifth and 
Minnesota. They began to search the area. The first thing they 
found was the length of twine that John Battenberg had taken off 
Richard Hague's hands. Next they found a small pool of still-wet 
blood where Richard had lain. Then they found several patches of 
brown hair lying between the rails. 

Finally they found Quita. 

Back at the Hunters Point apartment, Head and Yellow had left 
and Judo and the Muslim girl were alone. 

"You shouldn't be over here without a chaperone," she told 
him. "We're not married yet." 

"We will be in three days," Judo said. "Anyway, I got a present 
for you and I wanted us to be alone when I gave it to you." 

He put Quita Hague's white-gold-and-emerald ring on her finger. 

"Oh, honey, it's so pretty!" she praised, holding the back of her 
hand up to see how it looked on her. "My, it must have cost some- 

"It wasn't cheap," Judo said. 

At the railroad spur, Quita Hague was being photographed in 
death for the second time. Standing around her body were men 
from the Crime Lab, Photo Lab, Operations Center, and Homicide 
details, and a representative from the coroner's office. Quita was 
still lying across one rail of the tracks. Her hair, face, and upper 
torso were matted with her own drying blood. Her head lay back at 
a grotesque angle, its neck open, almost severed from the body. 
Her windpipe and most of her major neck arteries had been cut 
open, and her backbone and spinal cord had been lacerated. 

Her hands were still tied behind her back. 

Quita Hague was pronounced dead at 1 1 :45 p.m. 

At the end of Day One, there were two victims. 
Quita Hague was dead, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague was still alive, in shock, his face and head horri- 
bly mutilated. 


Day 4 

Jesse Lee Cooks alighted from a Market Street bus with a white 
bakery bag in one hand. The bag contained two dozen freshly 
baked cookies, so fresh that several grease stains had spotted the 
bag. Jesse had brought the cookies from the place where he 
worked, the Muslim-owned Shabazz Bakery. He had been em- 
ployed there as a baker's helper since his parole from San Quentin 
the previous summer. 

On this day, Jesse felt good. The cookies he carried were for his 
friends, Anthony Harris and Larry Green. They were a peace 
offering to make up for some differences that had arisen between 
them. Jesse had no family nearby, no girlfriend, no one who really 
liked him and wanted to be his friend. He knew he was difficult to 
get along with; he was moody, surly, hot-tempered. He had never 
kept a friend for very long, not in his entire life. But with Anthony 
Harris and Larry Green he was going to try. 

Despite outward appearances, Jesse liked Anthony Harris. An- 
thony had been straight with him in San Quentin, had taught him all 
the judo and kung fu that he knew. He was a good man, Anthony 
was, even if he didn't have the right kind of heart yet. That would 



come in time, Jesse was sure of it. All Anthony needed was a little 
experience. A little exposure. 

Larry Green now, he was something else. Just a kid, barely 
twenty-one, but that little motherfucker had a heart. No experi- 
ence at all; never even been busted. So curious about prison; al- 
ways asking those dumb fucking questions about life inside. (Jesse 
knew he was the right one to ask, however. Jesse's rap sheet read 
like a tour itinerary of jails and penitentiaries. Federal prisons at 
Lompoc, Terre Haute, Marion, McNeil Island, San Pedro. County 
jails in Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Los Angeles. Then San Quen- 

Jesse's expression always hardened whenever he thought about 
his years in prison. He had hated those years. He was determined 
never to go back. No more prison for him; they'd have to kill him 
next time. 

For the first time in his life, Jesse Lee Cooks felt as if he had di- 
rection. The Muslims in San Quentin had been the beginning of it. 
Then his job at Shabazz. And the good friends he had made since 
he got out. At last Jesse felt he was somebody. He felt a part of 

He walked with a slight strut as he crossed Market Street and 
headed toward the Black Self Help Moving and Storage Company. 
That was another Muslim-owned business, where both Anthony 
and Larry worked. Jesse had thought several times that it might be 
nice if he could work there also, then he and his friends could be 
together more. He knew he could probably get on if he cared to ap- 
ply; he was bigger and stronger than most of the men who worked 
there now. put he liked his job at the bakery: it was clean work, ev- 
erything smelled so good when it was baking, and he liked to watch 
the women come in to make purchases. Not like the moving com- 
pany: dusty, musty, all that heavy lifting. 

Jesse walked around to the rear of Black Self Help. It looked 
oddly inactive. Anthony and Larry were nowhere to be seen. Or 
anyone else for that matter. He walked in the back door, into the 
storage area. Only one person was on the premises, a man named 

"Say, brother, where everybody at?" Jesse asked. 

"Took off early for the wedding, man." 

"Wedding? What wedding?" 


Clark Howard 

"Brother Anthony and Sister Carolyn," said Dwight. 

Jesse frowned. He knew that Anthony Harris and Carolyn Pat- 
ton were engaged, but he had not known when their wedding would 
take place. "That's tonight, huh?" 

"Yeah, man." 

Jesse nodded. No one had told him. "Larry gone to it too?" 

"Sure thing. Larry, he the best man." 

Jesse stared into space for several moments. Not even Larry had 
mentioned it to him. 

"Say, man, you going to the wedding?" Dwight asked. 

Jesse shook his head once. "I got something else to do," he said 
self-consciously. He started to leave, then turned back. "You want 
a bag of cookies?" he asked. 

"Sure thing," said Dwight. 

"They good," Jesse emphasized. "I helped bake 'em myself." 

"Say, man, thanks," said Dwight, accepting the bag and opening 

Jesse shrugged. He did not know how to respond to a thank you. 
Still self-conscious, he simply bobbed his chin at Dwight and left. 

Outside, walking along Market Street, minus the carefree strut 
now, Jesse's expression slowly turned mean. I should have known, 
he thought. I should have known they wouldn't be my friends. 

Not after last night. 

It was the first loft meeting following the Hague kidnap-killing. 
Head had the floor and was complaining bitterly about Judo's par- 

"The man don't have the heart for Death Angel business," he 

"Can you elaborate on that for us?" asked the man with the 
Vandyke, who was moderating the meeting. He was flanked, as 
usual, by his bodyguards. 

"You want to hear more, I'll tell you more," said Head. He ig- 
nored Judo, who was glaring at him from the audience. "First, he 
fucked up when we had three white kids almos' in the van. He let 
one of them break away, then they all broke away. Next, when we 
had the two white devils down on the railroad track, he didn't even 
help. He didn't do nothing. The man just don't have the fucking 



The moderator looked at Judo, raising his eyebrows inquiringly. 
"Your reply, brother?" 

Judo stood. "I got as much heart as he has. It's just that this is all 
new to me. I'm not used to it. I haven't been out of prison very 
long; it's taking me a while to adjust." 

Yellow looked up at Judo and winked. That was exactly the right 
thing to say. Exactly as they had rehearsed it the night before. 

"Anyhow," Judo added, and this was not rehearsed, "he's just 
pissed off because his white devil didn't die." Judo turned his eyes 
to Head, who was now glaring back at him. He decided to rub salt 
in Head's wound. "He had the sucker knocked out and his hands 
tied behind his back. He had a machete big enough to chop down a 
fucking tree. He had all that going for him and he couldn't even kill 
the devil." 

There were several smiles and a few chuckles from the audience 
as the men saw Head's discomfiture. Head's lips were pursed as 
far out as they would go, and his forehead was drawn into a tight 
scowl. "At least I tried, motherfucker," he said to Judo. "More 
than you did." 

In the audience, Yellow raised his hand for permission to speak. 
The moderator nodded. All eyes turned to Yellow with interest: he 
had a new, higher status because of what he had done to Quita 
Hague. Rising, he stood next to Judo. 

"I think maybe we might be pushing this brother too fast," he 
said. "After all, like he told us, he just got out of the white man's 
prison a while back. We can't expect to push him out front right 
away and have him score a kill." He glanced at Judo and grinned. 
"Anyhow, he getting married soon, you know, and he nervous 
about it. He don't know can he handle her or not." 

There were some raucous laughs from the audience. The moder- 
ator smiled through his Vandyke. Even Head could not contain the 
flicker of a grin. 

"All in all," Yellow continued, "I don't think this brother did 
too bad for his first time out. I vote we overlook what happened 
with those three white kids. This brother will do all right if we give 
him time." 

"I'm inclined to agree," said the moderator. He motioned for 
Head, Judo, and Yellow to sit down. From his coat pocket he took 
a neatly cut, one-column newspaper clipping headlined: 


Clark Howard 


He read aloud from the clipping. " 'A young woman was hacked 
to death and her husband severely slashed after they were abduct- 
ed by tjiree men . . . Police say Mrs. Hague . . . had been near- 
ly decapitated by a single stroke to her throat by a heavy-bladed 
weapon, probably a machete . . . Richard Hague found stagger- 
ing around . . . taken to San Francisco General Hospital 
. . . underwent several hours of surgery . . . deep, savage slash 
wounds . . . in serious condition . . .'" He stopped reading and 
said, "In light of our younger brother's splendid kill, I think we will 
not cloud the event with any internal discipline or reprimand. 
Suffice it to say that he" — the moderator raised both hands and 
pointed proudly to Yellow — "is well on his way to becoming a re- 
spected Death Angel, while his two participating brothers" — he 
gestured toward Head and Judo — "have some catching up 
to do." 

There were a few more laughs from the group, good-natured 
now instead of derisive. 

"One final point, however," the moderator said, looking at the 
clipping again. "The police say the motive for the killing might 
have been robbery, since Hague's wallet was missing. Do any of 
you know anything about that?" 

Yellow and Judo looked suspiciously at Head. 

"Don't be looking at me, motherfuckers," Head muttered. "I 
don't know nothing 'bout no fucking wallet." 

The moderator allowed a moment of silence to pass. Then he 
said, "Of course, it could have been lost somewhere during the 
night, or a policeman may have stolen it. I bring it up simply to em- 
phasize that we" — he spoke the word loftily — "are not thieves. 
Nor are we rapists. What we do, we do to avenge four hundred 
years of abuse. Always remember that." 

Before he left, the moderator took Judo aside and spoke to him 
in private. "I don't want you to be discouraged by this temporary 
setback," he told him in confidential tones. "I know a lot about 
you, and I feel that you have great potential. I think that if you 
work hard and apply yourself, you can become an important man 



in the Nation of Islam. Men of your caliber are needed in New 

The moderator departed then. On the way out to his car, he put 
the Quita Hague newspaper clipping back into his pocket and re- 
moved another one. This one was headlined: vicious slaying a 
mystery. The moderator's eyes skimmed the story: Oakland po- 
lice trying to identify a young woman viciously hacked to death 
. . . found near the Oakland Coliseum . . . throat deeply cut by 
a hatchet or ax . . . numerous deep hack wounds in her body . . . 
two fingers missing from her left hand . . . 

The moderator sighed wearily. Two fingers. Why couldn't they 
just take Polaroid shots like everyone else? 

"Let's run across the bridge to Oakland boys," he told his body- 

As the big, shiny Continental pulled away, Head watched sullen- 
ly from an upstairs window. He was pouting. He felt cheated. 

After finding the Black Self Help premises nearly deserted, Jesse 
Lee Cooks wandered down Market Street with no particular desti- 
nation in mind. He was angry, blue, moody — and the overall feel- 
ing was coated with self-pity. No friends, he kept telling himself. 
Nobody he could depend on. Nobody. 

Not that he cared, he tried to convince himself. He didn't need 
anybody. He could make it alone just fine. Fuck them all. 

After he walked around for a while, he became hungry. He en- 
tered the first fast-food restaurant he came to and ordered a 
cheeseburger and Pepsi at the counter. The white girl who waited 
on him had large breasts that pushed out the front of her uniform 
blouse. Jesse stared at them while he waited for his food. 

He took a table near the rear, as far away as he could get from 
the few other customers in the place. As he ate, he brooded — about 
many things: not being invited to Anthony's wedding, not having 
any real friends, not being able to see his kids, all the years he had 
spent in prison, not ever seeming to be able to do anything right — 

That was an old story with Jesse. Not being able to do anything 
right. God knows he tried to do right. But sometimes other forces 
seemed to take over. Like the time back in 1958 in East St. Louis, 
when he was twelve years old. "Go out to play, Jesse Lee," his 
mother told him. "I want to lay down and rest." 


Clark Howard 

"Yes, Momma." 

"And you mind, take care of those other children and see they 
don't go off and be hurt." 

"Yes, Momma." 

The other children were his brothers Johnny and Tommy, who 
were ten and eight, and his sister Glory, who was seven. 

When he got outside, Jesse had an overwhelming urge to go back 
into the house. But it was not like he was going back in; it was like 
somebody else was doing it and he was only watching. Somebody 
else sneaked back inside; somebody else crept up to the bedroom 
door and peeked in at his mother napping on the bed; somebody 
else slipped quietly into the room — and with a pillow, somebody 
else tried to smother the dozing woman. 

Somebody else. 

They committed Jesse to the Illinois State Training School for 
delinquent boys. Located at St. Charles, Illinois, it was commonly 
called "Charleytown." The boys lived in barracks called "cot- 
tages," which were named after U.S. presidents. They kept Jesse 
there until he was fourteen. It was one of the most terrible, fright- 
ening experiences of his life — as well as one of the most education- 
al. For Charleytown is one of the best training schools for young 
criminals in the nation. It might have been "somebody else" who 
got sent up, but it was Jesse Lee Cooks who came out — reform- 
school tough and reform-school smart. 

He stayed out eight months, then was returned for shoplifting. 
This time they kept him until he was sixteen. When he got out 
again, the family moved to Omaha. Jesse was enrolled in Technical 
Junior High School. He attended through the ninth grade, then 
dropped out. 

Young Jesse was a natural nomad; he liked to move around, to 
go places — even if he had no purpose for going, no goal in mind. 
His favorite place to wander to was Denver, 540 miles away. It was 
a nice hitchhiking trip. But trouble was usually waiting for him 
there. The Denver police arrested him for "investigation" whenev- 
er they saw him in town. Then, when he returned home, the Omaha 
police did the same, on "suspicion." 

In 1963, Jesse met Rosetta. He was eighteen, she sixteen. They 
married and began having children. Four children were born in a 



five-year period. They took them and moved to Los Angeles, look- 
ing for — well, something better. 

Trouble still waited. Jesse was arrested for fighting, for ignoring 
traffic citations, for "investigation." Times got hard for him. The 
only job he could find was as a parking-lot attendant, and that did 
not pay enough to feed four kids. Jesse finally decided that he 
could not make it. Not that way, at least. He decided to try another 

On September 11, 1965, Jesse and a friend entered the Boy's 
Market in the early afternoon and handed a note to the woman in 
the cashier's booth. The note read: "Give me all the money. A gun 
is pointed at you." The cashier handed over approximately one 
thousand dollars. Jesse and his partner fled. They got away clean. 
It had been easy. 

A week later they tried it again, at a Ralph's Market. The woman 
in the cashier's booth read a note with the same instructions on it, 
then she snatched up an intercom mike and started screaming for 
the store manager. This time there was no chance to flee; a number 
of store employees came down on them and held them until police 

Charged with second-degree robbery, Jesse managed to get out 
on bail. Now trouble began to mushroom on him. He needed 
money to fight the robbery charge, redeem the bail bond, take care 
of Rosetta and the kids. He was desperate. 

The first bank he held up was the Bank of America at Western 
and Washington. He got less than $700. The next one was the Bank 
of America at Pico and Vermont, only two miles away. There he 
got $1400 — and also got caught. He was later identified in the first 
bank robbery. 

The federal courts work faster than state courts. Before Califor- 
nia could schedule him for trial on the two supermarket holdups, 
the government had tried and convicted him for the bank rob- 
beries. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. 

The Federal Bureau of Prisons apparently did not know what to 
do with Jesse. They first sent him to the Federal Correctional Insti- 
tute at Lompoc, California. He remained there nine months. Then 
he was transferred to the U.S. prison at Terre Haute, Indiana. He 
stayed there two and a half months. Next came the big federal pen 


Clark Howard 

at Marion, Illinois: nine months. Then to McNeil Island, where 
they kept him for nearly two years. Finally, he was sent to the Fed- 
eral Correctional Institute at San Pedro, California. From there he 
was paroled and given back to the State of California to serve a 
one-year-to-life sentence for the market holdups. 

California sent him to San Quentin. He served fourteen months 
and was paroled. 

When Jesse got home, he found that his wife had born two ille- 
gitimate children while he was in prison. He refused to live with 
her. Instead he went back to Omaha to live in the home of his par- 
ents. He got a job with a construction company. 

Jesse had four years to do on parole. He only managed one. 
Then he yielded to his nomadic nature, took his girlfriend, and left 
town. He went to New Orleans, stayed there four months, then 
moved on to Chicago. In March of 1973 he was taken into custody 
by the U.S. marshal in Chicago on a charge of unlawful flight to 
avoid confinement. Returned to California, he was turned over to 
the state and sent back to San Quentin as a parole violator. 

Back in the California prison, Jesse was assigned to the Short 
Term Program for parole violators. He was scheduled for counsel- 
ing, vocational aptitude testing, and institutional work assignments 
which would, in theory, prepare him for rerelease. The officials in 
the program were certain that they could have him ready to reenter 
society within six months. 

During those six months, however, Jesse joined the prison 
mosque of the Nation of Islam. 

And met a jujitsu and kung fu expert named Anthony Harris. 

Head had nothing to do. He was loitering around Black Self 
Help, hoping someone would show up. But no one had. Even 
Dwight, who had been there earlier, was gone. 

There was nothing to do. Nothing. Head was edgy, restless. 

Then the white woman came along. 

It was about eight thirty. She got off a bus at Van Ness and Mar- 
ket, and started walking down Market toward the street on which 
she lived. She was a slim, pretty woman, twenty-seven years old. 
She wore a tailored blue dress under an off-white raincoat. In one 
hand she carried her purse and a briefcase. 



She walked past Black Self Help. Head fell in a short distance 
behind her. 

Before she got to her street, the young woman noticed the husky 
black behind her. She thought perhaps he was following her, but 
she could not be sure. She quickened her pace slightly. Head no- 
ticed it; he quickened his pace also. 

The young woman glanced around. There was practically no one 
on the street, certainly no one close enough to help her. But she 
was almost home. She hurried faster. Head hurried after her. 

At last she reached her building. She ran up the outside steps, 
door keys in hand. She unlocked the outer door and was about to 
enter when she felt a strong hand on her wrist and the cold metal of 
a gun barrel on the side of her neck. 

"You best be quiet," Head told her, "or I'll kill you." 

The young woman felt her mouth go dry. "I'll be quiet," she 

Ellen Linder* had already made up her mind to live. She decided 
it the instant she felt Head's grip on her wrist. She would be qui- 
et — and do anything else he told her to. Ellen had a degree in psy- 
chology from an Eastern university, and was then studying 
advanced psychology at a nearby California school. With the black 
man's viselike fingers holding her right hand immobile, she was 
mentally gearing up to use everything she had ever learned to deal 
with whatever kind of mind she was now facing. 

"I'll be quiet," she said again. 

Head took the gun away from her neck and put it in his coat 
pocket. "Come on," he said. 

He guided her down the steps to the sidewalk. They walked to 
the corner and into a very dimly lit parking lot. 

"In here," he said, walking her onto the lot. He took her purse 
and briefcase and tossed them into some bushes. 

"My money is in that purse," Ellen said. 

♦Due to the nature of this incident, the victim's name and identity have been al- 


Clark Howard 

"I'm not after your money," he told her. "Now keep quiet or I'll 
kill you. Take off your coat. " 

He tossed her coat into the bushes also. 

"Take off your underpants." 

Ellen slipped out of her panties and handed them to him. Head 
tossed them after the other things. 

They moved into the shadows of the lot. 

"Get down on your knees," he said. Ellen complied. Head was 
very close to her. She heard the zipper as he opened his trousers. 
She felt his thick penis brush her lips. "Suck it," he ordered. 

Ellen closed her eyes, blanked her mind as much as possible, and 
ministered to him with her mouth. 

Presently they were interrupted by several people coming onto 
the lot. "Shit," said Head. He zipped up his trousers and pulled El- 
len to her feet. "Come on." 

They walked around the corner and up two blocks. Head walked 
with his arm around her as if they were intimates. 

"Where you been tonight?" Head asked. 

"I'm on the board of directors of a youth group," she told him. 
"I was at a meeting." 

"Youth group? What kind of youth group?" 

"A church group. Nondenominational." 

Head frowned. He did not know the meaning of that last word. 
He decided to change the subject. "Where at you work?" 

She told him, and what she did. 

"Sounds interesting," Head allowed. "I'm a boxer myself. Out 
here from St. Louis." 

They came to one of the city's miniparks and Head guided her to 
a bench. Ellen studied him in the artificial illumination of the street- 
light. He seemed to want to talk. She led him on, encouraged him. 
The conversation eventually evolved to racism. 

"Oppression of black people has got to stop," he told her. She 
noted that his tone lacked conviction; it was as if he was mouthing 
rhetoric from someone else. "The country has got to change. But 
before it happens, they's lots of people going to be killed. And you 
might just be one of them." 

No, I won't, Ellen thought grimly. Gently she urged him to con- 
tinue talking. 



"The people to be killed will just be picked out," he said. "Just 
picked out, like — ah, how do you say it — ?" 

"At random?" she offered. "Picked at random?" 

"Yeah, that's it. And it can happen to anybody, at any place. 
That's the way the world works, see? That's how it be going to 
happen here. The streets of San Francisco be going to run red with 
blood before it's over." 

The night grew quieter around them. Head rose and took her 
arm. "Come on." 

They walked to a vacant lot a block away. It was overgrown with 
bushes and weeds. Head led her to a dirt area behind the 

"Lie down on the ground. Pull your dress up and spread your 
knees apart." 

He dropped his trousers, got down between her legs, entered 
her. She blanked her mind again until he ejaculated. 

Later, Head and Ellen left the bushes and he walked with her 
back to the parking lot to retrieve her coat, purse, briefcase, and 

"You going to call the cops after I'm gone?" he asked. 

"No, of course not. Why should I? I sympathize with you. I 
mean, I believe in the things you believe in. Not in murder, of 
course, but in stopping the oppression of blacks in this country. 
No, I won't call the police." 

"Why don't I just go back to your apartment with you, just to 
make sure?" 

"All right, fine." That did not make any sense, she thought. Un- 
less, of course, he planned to kill her in the apartment. "You've 
got to promise not to hurt me," she said. "I promise not to call the 
police, but you've got to promise not to do anything harmful to 

"I promise," said Head. 

They walked to where it had all begun, the front steps of her 
building. This time he let her unlock the door and went inside with 

In her apartment, Head seemed to want to talk some more. Ellen 
again encouraged him. He told her of his disciplined life. "I gets up 
early every day," he said. "Before dawn. I do it to train my 


Clark Howard 

body," he boasted, "and for discipline. A man got to have a lot of 

Head now wanted to kill Ellen Linder so that he would be even 
with Yellow in their quest for Death Angel wings. But he was 
afraid to. The words of the man with the Vandyke kept running 
through his mind: We are not thieves. Nor are we rapists. 

Suppose he killed her? The cops would surely determine that she 
had been raped. He had shot a healthy load into her. The papers 
would probably call it a rape-murder; he would get no credit at all 
for the kill. Might even be put out of the group for it. 

Shit. Fucked up again. 

Then he decided that he might as well make the most of a bad sit- 
uation. He went over and put a strong hand on Ellen Linder' s 
throat. Without gentleness, he forced her into the bedroom. Push- 
ing her onto the bed, he fell on top of her like a great, panting, dark 

After he came a second time, Head was through with her. But 
just for the night; apparently he had designs for the future. 

"Give me your phone number," he ordered. She did. "And the 
one where you work." She gave it to him. "I'm going to call you 
soon for a date," he promised. Then he pointed his right index 
finger at her head like a gun. "Remember, if you call the police, I'll 
come back and kill you, hear? You be long gone." 

Head left and Ellen Linder called the police. 

At the end of Day Four, there were three victims. 

Quita Hague was dead, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague was still alive, in serious condition but expected 
to recover, with more than two hundred stitches in his face and 

And Ellen Linder had been raped twice, forced to perform fel- 
latio once, and placed in fear of losing her life for more than two 


Day 11 

The lights had been turned off in the loft and a movie projector 
was grinding away, throwing a bright picture onto a silvery porta- 
ble screen. The film was silent, but the man with the Vandyke nar- 
rated it from the rear of the room. 

"Here you see scenes from the Watts riot," he said. "Note that 
most of the policemen are white. Also note that not a single arrest 
is being made in a nonviolent manner; usually there are two white 
policemen for each black man being arrested, and they are very lib- 
eral in the use of their riot clubs." 

The film was patchy and broken, lacking any sort of continuity, 
as if it had been spliced together with selected scenes taken from 
an assortment of reels of varying quality. 

"There was a great deal of publicity about looting," said Van- 
dyke. "It was the excuse that the police department used to justify 
so many broken black skulls and smashed black faces. But the fact 
of the matter, as you can see by these scenes, is that our people 
were only salvaging merchandise that lay in the path of the various 
fires and would have been burned anyway. Of course, most of the 
stores in Watts were owned by Jews, and we all know that they'd 
rather see a TV set or a suit of clothes burn up rather than go to a 


Clark Howard 

poor nigger without him paying an inflated retail price plus some 
outrageous interest rate every month." 

As the men in the loft watched the film, Muslim observers, who 
had come with Vandyke, walked slowly up and down the sides of 
the room, studying them. They searched their faces, looking for 
expressions of hatred and hostility. Such expressions were not 
hard to find — not in this audience. Not in the faces of Head, Yel- 
low, Judo. 

The film switched from Watts to the rural South. Sharecropper 
shacks, forlorn-looking black women, little black children with 
flour-sack clothes and no shoes. 

"This is how poor blacks are forced to live in some parts of 
America today," said Vandyke. "They are practically in bondage, 
terribly oppressed, living indebted to white landowners year after 
year after year. There is, of course, a method to the white man's 
madness here: the white father keeps the black father under his 
heel throughout their lifetimes; the black children grow up exactly 
the way their fathers did; then the cycle completes itself when the 
black son is grown, and the white son takes over where his father 
left off." 

There was an undercurrent of grumbling among the dozen men 
in the loft audience. Vandyke always knew when it was coming. 
He always paused at appropriate moments to let it come. 

The film changed scenes again, this time to a white Establish- 
ment confrontation with a black demonstration where fire hoses, 
then dogs, were turned loose on teenage blacks, on women, on old 

"These are atrocities," Vandyke intoned in an ice-cold voice. 
"This sort of evil is the type of thing that could be expected if 
America was a dictatorship under an Adolf Hitler or a Joseph Sta- 
lin. But it is insanity that such things go on today in the finest civi- 
lized country in the world. Stop the film, please — " 

The projector was turned off, the lights turned on. Vandyke 
walked to the front of the room. He scanned the set faces of the 
men before him. "Evil," he pronounced, "must be met with evil. 
It is no good to try — as the white man teaches — to combat evil with 
good, for evil is strong and good is weak. But if we use evil to fight 
evil, then the evil we use becomes good." 



In the audience, Judo frowned. He was not sure that what he just 
heard made sense. He swallowed and licked a drop of perspiration 
off his upper lip. It was hot in the loft, the air beginning to thicken. 
Judo rubbed his sweaty palms together — then suddenly realized 
what he was doing and quickly looked to see if the decal on his left 
palm was still there. It was. The decal was square-shaped and had a 
number on it: 125. As usual on the afternoon of a meeting, it had 
been given to Judo to admit him to the loft. Each man attending 
was given one. It was moistened and pressed into the palm of the 
left hand, where the black man's skin was light enough for it to 
show. That imprint on the left palm was his admission to the meet- 

"It is clear to all righteous-thinking black men," Vandyke con- 
tinued, "that the white devils are out to destroy the black race. 
Throughout the years they have literally cut open our mothers' bel- 
lies to destroy black babies. They are evil and will resort to any 
atrocity in their efforts to put us under. That is why we must get all 
the fear out of our hearts and fight back. Fight back in the same 
way they are fighting us: with evil. Except that our evil, when we 
use it, becomes good." 

Judo glanced at Head and Yellow. Head, as usual, was nodding 
stupidly. You could tell that motherfucker anything and he'd agree 
with it. Yellow, on the other hand, was nodding thoughtfully, as if 
he actually understood what Vandyke meant. Maybe I'm slow, 
Judo thought; some of the things that were said in the loft just 
didn't make sense to him. 

Judo was glad when the lecture portion of the meeting was over 
and the men in the loft had a few minutes to mingle and socialize. 
He went over to a corkboard set up on a portable easel. On the 
board were several rows of small, ID-type photos. Some of them 
had tiny black wings drawn in ink on each side of the subject's 
neck. Judo looked enviously at them. Next to him, Head and Yel- 
low did the same. 

"Death Angel wings, man," Yellow said, his voice quiet with 

"That's for me, man," Head said enthusiastically. "I gots to get 
me them wings." 

A tall, handsome black came up and stood with them. "What's 


Clark Howard 

swinging, brothers?" he asked. "You all daydreaming about be- 
coming Death Angels?" 

"Right on, man," said Head. "Ain't you?" 

The newcomer smiled a brilliant white smile. "I got higher goals, 
man," he replied smugly. "I not only want to be a Death Angel, I 
want to be a lieutenant in the Death Angels. I want to lead, man. " 

Judo studied the speaker. He had smooth, even features, with a 
suggestion of boyishness; a Muhammad Ali face: now pretty, now 
quietly thoughtful, now mischievous. His shoulders were broad, 
his carriage graceful, catlike. He had a natural strut. His wiry hair 
was cut even above his ears and around the back of his head, leav- 
ing no sideburns, making him look as if he were wearing a monk's 

He was Skullcap. 

"How you going to get to be a lieutenant?" Judo asked. 

"By standing out in the crowd, man," Skullcap said, snapping 
his fingers. "By making myself known." He flashed his bright 
smile again. "Just watch me in the days to come, brother: you'll 
see a star be born." 

Skullcap walked away, half-strut, half-swagger: a swashbuckler 
in a checkered suit. 

"Big motherfucking deal," Head said when Skullcap was gone. 
He turned to Judo and Yellow, eager for their friendship again. 
"Come on over to Shabazz with me, brothers. I'll get us a box of 
pastry and we can go to my place and eat it." 

Judo and Yellow exchanged glances. Then Judo shrugged. 
"Why not?" 

In Head's kitchenette apartment, he brought up the subject of 
another kill. "Let's go do us a kill, brothers. Get one for each of us 

Yellow shook his head. "Too soon, man. The pigs is probably 
still worked up over that cunt's head that I chopped off." 

"He's right, man," Judo agreed. "It's too soon." 

Head took another bite of cream-filled pastry and thought of El- 
len Linder. Too soon, shit. They were just chickenshit. He had al- 
ready done one sting since then by himself. He could not tell them 
about it because he had only fucked the white woman, not killed 



her. Motherfucker, he silently cursed: why hadn't he offed that 
white bitch? If the papers had called it a rape-murder, he could 
simply have denied to the Death Angels that he had fucked her. He 
could have said that he had seen her boyfriend leave just before he 
made the sting. Or that a white pig cop had fucked her after she 
was dead. Anything. Nobody could have proved him a liar. 

I just didn't motherf ucking think, he silently chastised himself as 
he labored to chew a huge mouthful of cream puff. But he knew it 
was more than that. It had something to do with the girl herself, 
some feeling he had for her. Something that not only made him 
walk out without killing her, but also made him telephone her at the 
office where she worked. 

"You know who this is?" he asked when she answered her 

Ellen felt a catch in her throat. "Yes," she said as calmly as she 

"I said I was gonna call you, remember?" 

"Yes, I remember." 

For several moments, a heavy silence came over the line, as if 
Head was not quite sure why he called, did not know just what it 
was he wanted to say. 

Finally he said, "You don't sound too happy to hear from me." 

"I'm not," Ellen told him. "You had me very frightened the oth- 
er night." 

"You rather I just didn't call you up no more?" 

"I think that would be best, yes. You scare me." 

"Okay," Head said. It seemed the easiest way out. He did not 
know why the hell he even bothered to call in the first place. 

Anyway, it was too late to be brooding over it. The cunt got 
lucky and lived. Head would see that it didn't happen again. 

"Man, I don't see how you figure it's too early for another 
sting," he argued with Judo and Yellow. "Been ten days since the 
one by the railroad tracks." 

"Still too soon," Yellow replied. 

"Yeah," said Judo. "Anyway, I got something to do tonight." 

I guess I know what too, Head thought jealously. You and that 
new wife of yours. Head could not help wishing that he had some- 
one to occupy his time. 


Clark Howard 

"How 'bout you, little brother?" he asked Yellow. "You and 
me? Go stinging?" 

"I got something to do too," said Yellow. 

Judo and Yellow finished their pastry and left. Head sat alone in 
the dingy little kitchenette, looking at the crumbs and crumpled 
bakery paper where they had eaten. Stayed just long enough to eat 
my pastry, he thought sullenly. Fine motherfucking friends. He 
looked at a partially eaten napoleon in front of him, decided he was 
no longer hungry, and pushed it away. Sighing quietly, he looked 
around at the shabby furniture, the depressing walls, the aura of ut- 
ter gloom that seemed to pervade the place when he was there 
alone. It was like the solitary-confinement hole in the white man's 
prison — only worse. 

Got to get out from this place for a while, he decided anxiously. 
Don't like it here by myself. 

Head got up from the table, stuck a loaded automatic pistol in his 
belt, and left the apartment. 

The University of California Extension campus was only a block 
from the little apartment where Jesse Lee Cooks lived. Its main en- 
trance ran slightly uphill from Laguna Street, through a large dou- 
ble gate that was closed to traffic after all classes had ended for the 
night. Just inside the gate, on either side, were trees and shrubs. 
Often, when Jesse grew lonely at night, when he became blue and 
moody thinking about his wife and children, he would walk over to 
the Extension entrance, loiter back away from the gate near those 
trees and shrubs, and watch the people drive in to attend evening 

What puzzled Jesse about the people attending UC Extension 
was that they did not appear to be college students — as he imagined 
college students to be. Jesse's impression of a college student was 
someone white, young, wearing a sweater, the boys having blond 
hair, the girls with bouncy young breasts and ponytails. Jesse did 
not know what extension classes were; to him, a college was a col- 
lege. When he saw middle-aged men and women arriving for eve- 
ning classes, he assumed them to be teachers. The black middle- 
aged people he guessed were maintenance and clean-up help. It did 
not register in his dull mind that the "teachers" far outnumbered 



the younger "students," or that as many "clean-up help" people 
entered as did white people. 

Often as he stood there watching the gate, Jesse wished that he 
were smarter, that he knew more, that he could drive into the cam- 
pus and park, get out of the car with a thick, impressive-looking 
book in his hand, and walk into one of the Extension buildings. 
Cool, casual, confident. How motherfucking sweet that would be. 
At times when he felt that way, he secretly, briefly, regretted hav- 
ing wasted all the years he spent in federal prison: years during 
which, instead of lying idle in lockup, he could have been going to 
school studying something, studying anything. 

If the white men who ran the prison would have let him, that is. 

Which Jesse Lee doubted. 

And even if he had learned a little something, he knew he never 
would have gone far enough to get into college. Not the kind of col- 
lege he imagined, anyway. College with white girls with bouncy 
breasts, wearing sweaters, flashing perfect smiles. Cool, casual, 
confident girls. 

Like the one slowing down at the gate now. . . . 

She was twenty-eight but looked younger. Her auburn hair was 
cut short, a little longer than gamine-length. She wore jeans, a light 
crew-cut pullover, and over it a bright plaid blouse unbuttoned all 
the way down. The Mustang she drove was gold with a black vinyl 
top and had bucket seats. Sharp, sporty. There was an AAA stick- 
er next to the left taillight; this woman was not about to change her 
own flat. 

In the rear window was a decal that read: Carolina. 

That was in the South, thought Head, as he watched from the 
shadows of the trees. The South, where little black kids didn't have 
shoes. And were called niggers. 

Head walked over to the Mustang as it slowed almost to a stop to 
enter the gate and negotiate the hill. He waved a hand to signal the 
woman to stop. She did. Possibly because she thought he might be 
an Extension classmate. Or in trouble. Whatever — she stopped. 

"Give me a ride," Head said. 

There was something about his voice. He was not asking for a 
ride; he was telling her to give him one. 


Clark Howard 

She must have frowned and looked at him more closely then. He 
was approaching the passenger door — 

God, it was unlocked* 

She probably tried to accelerate, but it was too late. Head could 
move fast when he wanted to. And at that moment he wanted to. 
He was not going to make the same mistake with this one that he 
made with Ellen Linder. 

He snatched open the passenger door and drew his automatic. 

She must have been filled with sheer terror at the sight of him up 
close: his eyes wide and wild, lips curled in the insane hatred he 
felt. She must have seen the gun as he aimed it at her face — 

Head shot her four times. The first bullet went all the way 
through her lower neck and shattered the window in the driver's 
door. The second entered her upper neck and lodged in the brain 
area. The third entered her right cheek, tore up her mouth and 
tongue, and exited. The fourth went into her right side, hit the 
chest wall and aorta, then coursed down to penetrate her liver and 
lodge in her left kidney. Mercifully, she died quickly. 

Her name in life had been Frances Rose. All she had been doing 
was trying to get to class on time. 

But she had been white. 

Everything happened very quickly after that. 

Head hurried away, walking north on Laguna and turning the 
corner at Haight. 

John Fishchbach, a university security guard, ran down the hill 
to the gate. He found Frances Rose slumped forward against the 
steering wheel. Her head was blood-soaked. Fishchbach ran to 
summon an ambulance. 

Dr. Herb Kressel and an acquaintance, Harris Silverman, were 
leaving a UC Extension building when someone shouted that a 
woman had been shot down at the gate. Dr. Kressel and Silverman 
hurried down to see if they could help. 

And across the street from the gate, a woman named Mary Tur- 
ney left her second-floor apartment and came downstairs to wait 
for the police to arrive. She had seen the killer from her window; 
she wanted to describe him to someone while the image was still 
fresh in her mind. 


* * * 

Officers Thomas O'Connell and William Kelly were patrolling in 
a radio car when the first call came in about the shooting at the UC 
Extension gate. 

4 'That's close ,' ' said O 'Connell , the senior officer . ' 'let's make it. ' * 

They radioed that they were on their way to the scene. The pa- 
trol car leaped forward and sped toward the UC Extension gate. 
Six blocks from the scene, however, Communications advised that 
another unit had arrived ahead of them. Almost immediately fol- 
lowing that notification, a description came on the air which had 
been obtained at the scene from the witness Mary Turney. The 
shooting suspect was a Negro male, approximately twenty-five 
years old, five nine to five ten in height, muscular build, wearing a 
blue knit watch cap, an olive-drab army jacket, and light trousers. 

"Let's take a perimeter drive and see if we can spot him," Kelly 

"Right. Up Haight to Steiner and back around." 

The radio car started to prowl. Down Buchanan Street. Nothing. 
Up Haight Street. Nothing. Around into Steiner Street — 

"Over there," said O'Connell, bobbing his chin at the sidewalk. 
A muscular, bald-headed black man in a dark sweat shirt and khaki 
trousers was walking down Steiner toward Waller. 

"No army jacket," said Kelly. 

"Witness could have been mistaken," replied O'Connell. 

"Yeah. Or he could have taken it off." 

The car was creeping up slowly behind the bald man. 

"What do you think?" 

"I think we'd better have a look." 

The radio car drew alongside the bald man and stopped. O'Con- 
nell and Kelly got out. 

"Just a minute, please — " 

The black man, Jesse Lee Cooks, halted and warily faced the 
two officers. His right hand moved slightly — perhaps an inch, per- 
haps reflexively — toward his belt. 

"Watch it," said O'Connell. Both officers saw that Cooks had 
been sweating profusely, as if he had been running. This was no 
time to take chances; a woman had been shot back there. "Put 
your hands on top of your head," Kelly ordered. 


Clark Howard 

Cooks glared at them and made no move to obey. His right hand 
moved again; a twitch, an impulse. 

O'Connell and Kelly quickly drew their service revolvers. "Just 
freeze, mister!" Kelly covered him while O'Connell, his gun rehol- 
stered, got Cooks's hands up and patted him down. He found the 
automatic in Cooks's belt. "Okay, mister, down on the sidewalk," 
O'Connell ordered. "Spread your arms and legs wide." 

While Kelly continued to keep him covered, O'Connell placed 
Cooks under arrest, knelt beside him and handcuffed him, and be- 
gan routinely to recite to him his constitutional rights. 

"You have the right to remain silent — " 

At the end of Day Eleven there were four victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, surviving, his butchered face beginning its slow, 
painful healing process. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death, trying not 
to remember her ordeal. 

And Frances Rose, her young face blown apart by bullets fired at 
close range. 


Day 37 

Anthony Harris left his new wife, Carolyn, after seventeen days. 
He would later say that it was because he could not stand the way 
she smelled: that she had an offensive body odor and did not bathe 
regularly. Carolyn would probably give a different reason for the 
early termination of their marriage; but whatever the cause, it did 
end, after less than three weeks, and Anthony moved out. 

He moved to the YMCA, then to the Empress Hotel, a neighbor- 
hood hotel, off the beaten track. It is not listed in any of the guide- 
books. A guest does not have to show a credit card to check in. 
Most people would call the Empress a flophouse. 

On Sunday morning, November 25, 1973, Anthony sat up on the 
side of his lumpy bed at the Empress and reached for his trousers. 
He pulled them partway on while sitting, as he had become accus- 
tomed to doing in the narrow confines of a prison cell, then stood 
up and pulled them the rest of the way on and fastened them. There 
was no window in his room; he had to walk down the hall to look 
out and see what kind of day it was. On this particular morning, 
looking out the. window at the end of the hall, he saw that it was 
drizzling rain. Eddy Street, two stories below, was gray and 
gloomy-looking. "Shit," Anthony muttered. That kind of weather 
depressed him. 


Clark Howard 

He shuffled back to his room, wondering what time it was. As he 
passed the hall bathroom, he saw that it was occupied, the door 
closed. He went into his room and urinated in the sink in the cor- 
ner. Then ran cold water until the smell went away, and washed his 
face. Putting on his shirt and shoes, he went down to the lobby and 
looked at a plug-in Westclox behind the desk. It was quarter of ten. 
Anthony crossed to a pay phone on the far wall. He called Black 
Self Help Moving, where he worked, to see if Larry Green was 

"Black Self Help," a cool, even voice answered. 

"Who speaking?" Anthony asked. 

"Man, you called here. Who you want?" 

"Larry. Is Larry around?" 

"No, he's not here. Who's this.?" 

"This Anthony." 

"Anthony, my man," the voice replied cheerfully, "what's 
shaking? This is J.C." 

J.C. was J. C. Simon, a handsome, swaggering black with his 
hair cut bowl-shape on his head, no sideburns. 

"What's happening down there, man?" Anthony asked. 

"The place is dead, brother," J.C. replied. "I'm the onliest one 
around. What you doing?" 

"Nothing. I ain't doing nothing." 

J.C. lowered his voice. "How'd you like to go out with me for a 
while?" he asked conspiratorially. 

"Out where?" 

"Oh, just out," J.C. said vaguely. 

"I don't know, man." Anthony was immediately uncomfortable 
with his answer. He was rapidly running out of excuses not to go 
out with the men from Black Self Help when he was invited. Too 
much time had passed for him to continue saying that he was fresh 
out of prison and adjusting. And to continue to play being a ner- 
vous newlywed wouldn't wash anymore, either; it was common 
knowledge that he and Carolyn had split. 

"How about it, brother?" J.C. pressed. 

"Sure, man," said Anthony. 

"All right!" 

"Can you come get me? It's raining out." 



"Right on. You still at the Empress?" 

"Yeah, right." 

"Be down in the lobby in a half hour. I'll be driving the van." 

Anthony hung up and went back upstairs to his room. He had no 
watch so he would have to estimate when half an hour was up. He 
flopped down on the bed and closed his eyes. It was three days past 
Thanksgiving, a month until Christmas. He did not know yet what 
he was going to do at Christmas. He supposed he could go down to 
Southern California and visit his mother in Santa Ana. Or even his 
white wife in Monrovia. His most recent wife, Carolyn, might even 
give him a Christmas dinner if he asked real nice — but she would 
have to take a bath that morning for him to be able to stand her. He 
sighed quietly. Christmas was going to be a problem, all right. He 
did not want to spend it alone. 

Shit, he thought moodily. He had thought he would be all settled 
by now. Have a nice Muslim wife, be working, making a decent life 
for himself, practicing the Islamic faith. Instead, he was living in a 
seedy little hotel room all alone, and getting nowhere fast. How the 
fuck did things get so turned around on him? 

Anthony opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. He thought 
about the day he was released from San Quentin — 

It was a thirty-minute drive from the prison into San Francisco. 
He was taken to a Halfway House and given a room. He was to re- 
main there until he found approved employment and a suitable 
place to live. Less than an hour after his parole supervisor left, he 
had a visitor: a slim, light-skinned Negro, freckle-faced, handsome 
in a shy, almost boyish way. 

"Hey, brother, I'm Larry Green from the mosque. How's it feel 
to be out?" 

"Feels fine. What you want?" 

"Came over to welcome you back to the black man's world. And 
to invite you to join the mosque." 


Larry shrugged. "We heard about you from the inside, man. 
How you a righteous thinker. And how you know judo and all that 
stuff. We'd like you to teach self-defense to some of our junior and 
teen members. Maybe a couple afternoons a week." 


Clark Howard 

"Man, I got to work," Anthony protested. "I got to get out and 
find a fucking approved job. ' ' 

"We can fix that," said Larry with all the confidence of a much 
older person. "We can put you to work at either the Shabazz Bak- 
ery or the Black Self Help Moving and Storage Company. Both 
places are approved for ex-cons coming back into society, because 
they're connected with religious organizations, see, and the pigs 
have to be very careful how they fuck with religious freedom. So 
we can put you to work, and a couple afternoons a week you can 
take time off to teach at the mosque. What do you say?" 

Anthony shrugged. Why not? he thought. 

It was on the second floor of the mosque, in a large, heavily mat- 
ted room, that Anthony began teaching judo and karate to teen and 
junior Fruit of Islam members. The Fruit of Islam was the Nation 
of Islam's younger rank: the youth who were being trained for 
leadership. Anthony worked with another instructor, whom he 
knew only as Wally 4X. Wally taught general health and body 
building. They alternated the classes, one teaching the juniors, 
ages eight to twelve, the other the teens, thirteen to eighteen. They 
had a good working relationship from the first day, and found that 
they liked each other in spite of the obvious differences between 

"Say, I haven't seen you down at Black Self Help, man," An- 
thony said early on. "Where you work at, the bakery?" 

"No, I have an outside job," said Wally. "I work for the city. 
I'm a civil servant." 

"You a spy for us?" Anthony wanted to know. 

Wally 4X smiled in tolerant amusement. "No, nothing so excit- 
ing. I'm just an ordinary P.E. instructor for the schools. The faith 
has nothing to do with my job. See, man, I'm not a Separatist like 
those guys down at Black Self Help. They're Nationalist Muslims; 
they want a separate state for the Nation of Islam. Me, I'm a reli- 
gious Muslim. Islamism is my faith, not my politics." 

"You believe in the Word, don't you, man? The Word that 
comes to us from New Mecca?" 

"I believe in anything that makes sense," Wally replied, 
"whether it's the Word or whatever. But one thing I don't believe 
is that Chicago is New Mecca." 



"Man, those cats down at Black Self Help would skin your ass if 
they heard you say that." 

"Precisely why I never go down there," Wally said. "I'm a lib- 
eral Muslim. Like the Nation of Islam ministers that teach the faith 
in this mosque, I don't advocate death to the white man. At this 
point I am firmly convinced that without the white man, the black 
man would perish. Twenty-five years from now, I may change my 

"If you live that long." 

"Oh, I'll live that long," Wally said confidently. "If I can keep 
away from you badass Death Angels, that is." 

Anthony laughed. "You crazy, man." 

They never discussed politics or religion after that, and they got 
on very well together. 

The person Anthony spent the most time with in his early days of 
freedom was Larry Green. The young man's friendship was a re- 
freshing change after a long association with convicts and street 
people. He considered Larry to be a basically good kid. He came 
from a decent home and family, grew up not in a city slum but in 
Berkeley, and was a high-school basketball star. His extremely 
light skin — a cafe au lait complexion — caused him frequent con- 
sternation, particularly when he was around dark brown or pure 
black Negroes; and the fact that he was very skinny — over six feet 
and usually under 150 pounds — was also a source of self-conscious 
embarrassment to him. Only when he was in action on the basket- 
ball court did he feel that what he was doing compensated for his 
skinny body. And that, unfortunately, only lasted through high 

From the first day that Larry visited him at the Halfway House, 
Anthony let the young man hang around with him. It was flattering 
in a way; none of Anthony's own younger brothers — Kenny, 
Pinky, Stanley, Jarvis — had ever looked up to him. It was nice to 
be admired, to be thought of as someone. 

"Say," Larry asked him early in their relationship, "could you 
teach me some of that judo so I can take care of myself better?" 

"Yeah, I guess so," Anthony said. "You want to join the class 
at the mosque?" 

Larry shrugged. "That's kind of chickenshit stuff that you teach 


Clark Howard 

to those kids. I want to learn some of the badass stuff like you 
taught Jesse Lee in the joint." 

"Jesse Lee Cooks? You know him?" 

"Sure. We got him a job at the Shabazz Bakery when he got out 
of Q. Anyway, that's the kind of stuff I want to learn. That badass 

"Well, before you learn any badass stuff so you can be a badass 
like badass Jesse Cooks," Anthony mimicked, "you going to have 
to learn some of the basics, what you call the chickenshit stuff. 
You got to learn to walk before you can learn to run, understand?" 

"Sure, Anthony," the younger man answered agreeably. 
"Whatever you say." 

"If you don't want to join a mosque class, where do you want 
me to teach you?" 

"How about your room at the Halfway House?" 

"Yeah, I guess we can use that for some of the simple stuff, long 
as I don't have to throw you. We'll give it a try." 

Anthony gave him regular lessons, once or twice a day, in the 
room at Halfway House. He taught him hip throws first, then side 
kicks, finally open-hand attacks to the eyes, throat, body. Larry 
was an enthusiastic student; he did not mind repeating a move over 
and over again until he perfected it; and when Anthony told him to 
practice a certain technique fifty times, more often than not he 
would do it a hundred. The young man took to jujitsu as if he had 
been born for it. Before long, he had progressed past the basics and 
was into mastering the deadly heart-burst punch, the terrible 
straight-finger larynx thrust, and the brutal neck breaks. Larry 
Green was learning to compensate for his skinny body somewhere 
else besides the basketball court. 

The one thing about Larry that sometimes irritated Anthony was 
the younger man's morbid curiosity about life in prison. He wanted 
to know even the most minute details. 

"Say, brother, tell me about the queers in prison," he asked. 
"What do you do when they cop a feel? Bust their asses?" 

Anthony shrugged. "Queers don't usually bother you unless it 
looks like you want it. Or if you're young and they think you're 
prime. Then they fight over you or try to buy you. But if you got a 
rep, a good, solid rep for whipping ass, you get left pretty much 



"How 'bout the Muslims? They stick pretty much together?" 

"Oh, yeah. Out at Q, everybody sticks together. See, you got a 
lot of different gangs that runs together. You got the honkies, you 
got the spiks, you got them crazy, motherfucking Indians, you got 
the regular niggers, and then you got the Black Muslims. They the 
cream, see? Just like the Islamic lessons say. Don't nobody fuck 
with the Muslims in Q." 

"Far out, man," said Larry. "Shit, I wouldn't be scared to go to 
the joint if I could hang with the Muslims. I wouldn't even mind go- 
ing in." 

Anthony grunted quietly. "Like shit you wouldn't mind. It ain't 
no tea party in there." 

"I could cut it, man," Larry said confidently. 

Anthony nodded. At the rate the kid was going, he'd probably 
find out someday. He wanted to learn about all the wrong things. 

At his first meeting in the loft, Judo was questioned by the man 
with the Vandyke and by other Death Angel members who were at- 

"We are always pleased to welcome a new recruit from the San 
Quentin Mosque," said Vandyke. "It has been our experience that 
those Muslims who have served in the white man's prison are un- 
usually strong because they have been repressed, and they are usu- 
ally filled with hostility because they have suffered. For the most 
part, they become good and reliable Death Angels. But before they 
do, we have to find out where their hearts are. Now tell me, broth- 
er, do you think it would be easier for you personally to kill a white 
child or a white woman?" 

"I don't know," Judo replied. 

"A white woman or a white man?" 

"I don't know," he said again. He felt distinctly uncomfortable. 

"Well, I shall tell you, brother," said Vandyke. "It takes a far 
better man to kill a child than a woman, and a better man to kill a 
woman than a man. That is why our quota for heads is lower for 
children than for women and men. Do you understand?" 

"Yes," Judo said. But he did not. It sounded suspiciously like a 
cop-out to him. Like maybe killing kids was easier than killing men. 

"Do you think you would be capable of an act of decapitation?" 
Vandyke asked. 


Clark Howard 

"Capable of what?" 

"Decapitation. Cutting off a white person's head." 

"I'm not sure," Judo said. 

"We, of course, accept any method of eliminating our white ene- 
mies," Vandyke said, "but decapitation is preferred because it is a 
very vicious way of killing and shows that a man is not afraid of 
blood. Are you afraid of blood, brother?" 

"I don't know," Judo replied. "I don't think so, but I don't 

"If you ever feel you might be afraid of blood," Vandyke said, 
"just think back to the days when the white man cut open our 
mothers' bellies and fed the unborn black fetus to his livestock." 

Judo felt Ul. 

"Does anyone in the audience have a question for our new 
brother?" Vandyke asked. 

A burly black man stood up. "I want to ask the new brother if he 
would have enough nerve to cut up the dead body of a white dev- 

Judo held back the feeling of nausea and forced a half -smile. 
"You kidding me, man?" 

"No, man, I ain't." 

Another stood up. "Could you do it or couldn't you?" 

This is a joke, Judo thought. "Sure, man, I could do it," he an- 

Later that evening, Judo was shown snapshots of what appeared 
to be actual executions of white people. There were so many of 
them, and they were spread out in such a haphazard manner on one 
of the tables, that their detail all flowed together in a grisly montage 
of death. One photo did stand out, however: that of a white man 
tied to a straight chair, with a black man standing in front of him, 
firing a pistol almost point-blank at his face. Judo could not be 
sure, because he did not examine the snapshot that closely, but he 
thought the man firing the gun was a tall, handsome black with a 
bowl haircut, whom he had seen among the men in the loft. 

The one called Skullcap. 

On that Sunday morning in November when it was drizzling rain, 
Judo walked out of his hotel and waited in a doorway until Skullcap 
drove up in the van. It was the white Dodge van, the one in which 



he had ridden with Yellow and Head the night Yellow hacked the 
white woman to death. 

"What's happening, brother?" asked Skullcap as Judo got into 
the van. 

"Nothing, man. Nothing." Judo was on edge. He wished he 
could think of some way to get out of going with Skullcap and still 
save face. But there did not appear to be a way; none that didn't 
sound chickenshit anyway. 

"You got your piece, man?" Skullcap asked. 


"Good. I need to borrow it." 

Judo frowned. "What the fuck for, man? Where's yours?" 

"I loaned it to a brother in Oakland. He's still got it." 

"Well, shit, man, can't you borrow one from somebody?" 

Skullcap turned a flat stare on him. "I am borrowing one, broth- 
er. From you." 

There was something about Skullcap's voice and eyes that 
warned Judo not to argue further. Skullcap was by far the most 
dangerous man he had yet met in the loft meetings. His tall, hand- 
some appearance aside, his brilliant smile and loose strut, his aura 
of being totally cool, totally hip — all that aside: there was some- 
thing in the man, something very close to the surface, that was un- 
speakably terrible, unequivocally deadly. It was something that 
Judo, with all his kung fu prowess, did not care to challenge. 

"You can borrow the gun, man," he said. 

Skullcap smiled. "Thanks, brother. Put it in that case there be- 
hind the seat, will you?" 

Judo picked up an attache case from the floor of the van and put 
his gun inside it. He noted that the case was black and matched the 
black raincoat and black pigskin gloves that Skullcap wore. Skull- 
cap also had on dark glasses despite the absence of sunlight, and a 
dark gray fedora cocked to one side of his head. He belonged, Judo 
thought, in a white Caddy convertible instead of an old Dodge van. 
In spite of the underlying threat of danger about him, Skullcap was 
one very sharp motherfucker. 

"Say, man, where we going?" Judo asked. 

"You'll see in a couple of minutes, brother," Skullcap an- 
swered. "I got us a devil all picked out." 

As he drove along the almost deserted Sunday morning streets, 


Clark Howard 
Skullcap hummed an old Bible hymn he had learned as a child. 

When J. C. Simon was three years old, he had pinworms wig- 
gling out of his anus, nostrils, and mouth. They were caused by his 
touching fecal matter and putting his fingers on his lips and nose. 
The condition caused the child severe itching and restlessness. At 
night the female pinworms would constantly be exiting his body 
and depositing new eggs to grow new worms. The boy was unable 
to sleep. He became uncontrollably irritable and difficult to handle. 
The condition became so bad that he was debilitated and unable to 

Hazel, his mother, took him to the doctor time after time. "En- 
terobiasis," the doctor always said, and gave her a prescription for 
piperazine. "This will clear it up, Mrs. Simon, but it's going to 
keep coming back until the boy quits touching his anus." 

J.C. finally quit the disgusting habit when he was five. But for 
two years prior to that, he remained in almost constantly horrible 
physical and mental condition. 

J.C.'s father was Samuel Oscar Simon. He worked as a milk de- 
liveryman. After J.C. was born, he moved his family from Opelou- 
sas, Louisiana, to Beaumont, Texas. There were three other chil- 
dren, all older than J.C, and eventually there would be born four 
younger than he. Samuel was thirteen years older than his wife. 
When J.C. was ten, his parents separated and Samuel moved to 

For a period after his father left the household, J.C. had trouble 
in school. His teacher summoned Hazel for a conference. 

"Something is the matter with the boy's hand," the teacher said. 
"He can't hold a pencil anymore. I think you'd better take him to a 
therapist of some kind. " 

Hazel had J.C. try to hold a pencil. The boy's hand seemed to go 
limp; the pencil fell to the desk. 

"I don't know what I'm going to do," she told the teacher. "I 
can't afford no doctor bills right now." 

"Well, you might as well take him home," the teacher said. "He 
can't attend school if he can't hold a pencil." 

Hazel took her son home. 

"J.C, what do you think is the matter with your hand?" she 
asked him. 



"I don't know, Mamma," he said, eyes downcast. 

"Does it hurt?" 

"No, Mamma." 

"Does it feel numb?" 

"No, Mamma." 

She laid the boy down on his bed and sat beside him. She started 
massaging his little hand and fingers. J.C. seemed to relax. "Does 
that feel good, sugar?" his mother asked. 

"Yes, Mamma." 

Hazel began to massage the boy's hand as a matter of regular 
routine. Before long he was back in school again, holding a pencil 
with no difficulty. It had not been physical therapy that J.C. need- 
ed; it had been attention in a home that his father had left. 

As J.C. grew up, he was very close to his family. His mother was 
his best friend, his sisters and brothers next. He rarely made any 
close outside friends; the people he liked best were the ones who 
lived in his house. J.C. had respect for his family: he was a good 
boy and stayed out of trouble. Not mischief, but trouble. 

When he was old enough, he went to work as a busboy at the 
Beaumont Country Club. He was an easygoing, likable adolescent 
who got on well with everyone. At Lincoln High School he made 
the football team. He would have been a star player but he injured 
his knee. It never did heal correctly and J.C. grew to manhood with 
a kneecap that frequently slipped out of place. 

His grades in high school were good enough to get accepted at 
Texas College in Tyler, two hundred miles north of his home. Tex- 
as College was an all-black school subsidized by the Baptist 
Church. With normally some five hundred-plus students in atten- 
dance, the college had been in existence since 1894, highly regard- 
ed by educators. It was highly regarded by J.C. also, but that did 
not preclude his having problems there. He was away from home 
for the first time, away from the "friends" he valued most — his 
family. He had difficulty adjusting to his new environment, difficul- 
ty concentrating on his classes. He dropped out and went home. 
Hazel, his mother, made him go back. 

Over a period of three years, J.C. dropped out several times, and 
each time his mother made him return. During the periods that he 
was in attendance, he was at least a fair student, sometimes better 
than fair. Over three calendar years, he accumulated enough cred- 


Clark Howard 

its to equal four semesters' work — putting him at the halfway mark 
toward a degree. His studies were in general academic foundation; 
he was going in the direction of the social sciences. 
Then he met Patricia. 

They left school and moved down to Houston. J.C. got a job as a 
food selector in a grocery supply warehouse. They lived modestly 
but not uncomfortably. In 1970 their daughter was born; they 
named her Jacqueline Christine, but from the beginning she was 
called Crissy. She was an ordinary little girl born to ordinary black 
parents under ordinary circumstances. By all odds, everything 
about this young family should have remained ordinary. Then J.C. 
Simon met some men who were members of the Nation of Islam. 
Black Muslims. 

J.C. was impressed by the Muslims. They appeared cool, confi- 
dent, with it. They dressed sharply, like young businessmen. They 
were clean-shaven, neatly groomed. They walked with shoulders 
back, a slight strut, a swagger. Most impressive to J.C, they 
seemed to know who they were. 

J.C. fell in with the Nation of Islam members. He visited the 
temple there in Houston. He began to feel a part of it. Their doc- 
trines, the policies they preached, all seemed to make sense to him. 
He himself and his family had never felt particularly oppressed, so 
he was not attracted to it to escape any hardship; but he could see 
around him some of the inequities that the Islamic faith was trying 
to abolish. Before long, J.C. had joined the Houston mosque. 

Things began to go badly between J.C. and Patricia. Since he had 
become a Muslim, the two of them looked at things from entirely 
different perspectives. Their values began to be at odds, and with 
them their individual priorities. Soon J.C. left Patricia and went 
back to Hazel's home in Beaumont. 

Beaumont to Houston was only a ninety-minute drive, and J.C. 
still attended meetings at the Houston mosque. It was in the sum- 
mer of 1970, after one of those meetings, that he and several 
friends found themselves in a small group being addressed infor- 
mally by a dignified black man in a well-tailored business suit who 
spoke in a quiet but knowledgeable tone. 

"Yes, Houston is a marvelous city, a very friendly city, and I 



have thoroughly enjoyed my short visit here," he told them. "I 
wish I were able to stay longer, but my schedule simply will not 
permit it." He looked around at his young audience with a paternal 
smile. "Ah, how I wish we had young men like you in San Francis- 
co. You know, San Francisco is going to be the very first Muslim- 
run city in the country. We already have a master plan for the grad- 
ual acquisition of various business enterprises. And I don't mean 
to imply any illegal take-over; I mean a strictly legitimate attrition 
wherein white business owners will sell out to Muslim buyers. Ev- 
erything strictly aboveboard." A subtle smile came to his lips. "Of 
course, we may have to — well, encourage some of the white folks 
to move on, but there are plenty ways to do that. My point is: San 
Francisco is going to be the city for all of us Black Muslims. Chica- 
go will still be New Mecca, but San Francisco will be where the op- 
portunity's at — especially for Young Turks like you fellows. Ah, if 
I could only be your age again. I tell you, wild horses couldn't keep 
me away from San Francisco." 

It was not long after the man's visit that a carload of the "Young 
Turks" — five of them — left Houston for the two-thousand-mile 
drive to San Francisco. 

J. C. Simon was one of the five. 

Skullcap was still humming as he drove the van down Eddy 
Street and turned into Larkin. Judo saw that they were heading 
into the Civic Center, where all the city, state, and federal build- 
ings were located. 

"Man, where the fuck you going?" he said, more an accusation 
than a question. "This neighborhood is crawling with pigs." 

Skullcap glanced disdainfully at him. "Not on Sunday, man," he 
said, like a patient teacher reminding a slow student of the obvious. 

Skullcap drove down Larkin to the 400 block. He passed the fed- 
eral building on one side, a bank of stores on the other. On the cor- 
ner was a bar, Harrington's Irish Club. One door back was Era- 
kat's Grocery. 

Skullcap turned at the next corner and drove along a practically 
deserted street between the federal building on one side and the 
state building on the other. He completely circled the block and 
parked on the north side of the federal building. Around the corner 


Clark Howard 

and down the block were the grocery and the bar. Skullcap glanced 
at his watch. It was quarter of eleven. 

They waited, watching the street. 

Particularly watching the grocery. 

At ten minutes to eleven, twenty-one-year-old Randy Clough, a 
slight man with long sideburns, walked past the Erakat Grocery on 
his way to Harrington's Irish Club. Clough's father-in-law owned 
Harrington's; Clough was on his way to work. As he passed the 
grocery, he glanced inside. Saleem Erakat, the owner, was just get- 
ting ready to open. 

In the van, Skullcap watched Clough pass the grocery and enter 
the bar. "Okay," he said, "now that that sucker's out of the way, 
we're ready." He reached for the attache case behind the seat. 
"Here's how we'll work it: you go down this side of the street and 
stand by that big building right across from the store. I'll go down 
the side of the street that the store is on and go inside. You keep 
watch, hear? If anybody comes in, you cross the street and come in 
after them." 

"What the fuck good that gonna do, man?" Judo argued. "I ain't 
got no piece, you got my piece." 

"Won't nobody know that, man," Skullcap said patiently. 
"Anyway, I been watching this place for a long time; been going in 
and buying apples from the old fool who owns the place; hardly 
anybody ever comes in the first hour on Sunday morning. Believe 
me, I know what I'm doing, brother. Now come on, let's go." 

The two men alighted from the van and went their separate 
ways. Judo watched Skullcap as he walked along the opposite side 
of the street, strutting: black raincoat, black pigskin gloves, fedora 
cocked slightly to one side, attache case swinging in a short arc, 
long legs carrying him with just a hint of arrogance. The man 
looked good, Judo thought. No fucking question about it; 

He moved into place in front of the federal building as Skullcap 
entered the grocery. 

Saleem Hassan Erakat was fifty-three years old. A Jordanian 
Arab, he had operated Erakat's Grocery at 452 Larkin Street for 



thirteen years. He had a wife, Somiha, and four children ranging in 
age from a young teenage girl to a twenty-year-old son. Every 
member of the family worked in the store, which was open seven 
days a week. On weekends, most of the grocery's business came 
from neighborhood apartment residents, but during the week there 
was a steady flow of civil servants from the nearby government 
buildings. They came over on their coffee breaks and lunch hours 
to buy sandwiches, fresh fruit, Hamm's beer. Erakat's Grocery 
was a popular place in the Civic Center, and Erakat himself was a 
popular man. 

On this rainy Sunday morning, the stocky, thick-haired grocer 
had just taken the empty cash-register tray into the back room. It 
was a tiny room, used for quick meals during the long business 
day. There was a four-burner gas range in one corner, an aluminum 
sink on legs in another, a round breakfast table, a pair of mis- 
matched chairs, and a variety of pots, pans, dishes, bowls, cups — 
most of them in a constant state of drying on the wing counter of 
the aluminum sink. 

Erakat put the cash-register tray on the table and started to open 
the cloth money bag to count out the day's starting change. Just 
then he heard someone enter the store. He stopped what he was 
doing and went into the front. A tall black man in a raincoat, carry- 
ing an attache case, had just come in. Erakat recognized him. 

"As-salaam-alaikum," the black man said, speaking the Muslim 

"Walaikem as-salaam" Erakat replied, which translated rough- 
ly to, "Peace be with you also." "Did you come in for your apple 
today?" the grocer asked. 

"Not exactly," said the black man. 

He opened the attache case and removed the gun. 

From across the street, Judo watched through the store window 
as Skullcap and Erakat talked. He saw them move toward the rear 
of the store until they were out of sight. 

Judo swallowed nervously; his throat was suddenly dry. He felt 
very vulnerable standing in front of the huge federal building, 
whether from the sheer size of it or the fact that it represented au- 


Clark Howard 

thority, he did not know. All he knew was that his bowels were 
churning. He could not stand still. Glancing apprehensively up and 
down the street, he started crossing to the opposite sidewalk. 

As he did, a retired waiter named Joaquin Calles came around 
the corner, walking toward the store. 

In the back room of the store, Saleem Erakat calmly pointed to 
the money bag on the table. "There is the money. That is all there 
is. Take it. I do not resist you." 

"I have to tie you up," said Skullcap, "so you won't follow me 
out or call the police." 

"I will not follow you out," the Jordanian said. "I am not so 
crazy as to follow a man with a gun. " 

"I said I have to tie you up, motherfucker!" Skullcap snapped. 
The hand holding the gun was shaking; all of Skullcap's move- 
ments were sudden, jerky. Erakat took note of the nervousness. 

"Tie me up then," he said calmly. "Do what you have to do." 

A necktie belonging to the grocer was draped over one of the 
mismatched chairs. Skullcap snatched it up. "Turn around," he or- 
dered. "Put your hands behind your back." 

Erakat obeyed. Awkwardly holding the gun, Skullcap wound the 
necktie around Erakat' s crossed wrists and managed to double- 
knot it. He did not do a very good job of it; a strong man like Era- 
kat could have freed himself very quickly had he the chance. 

But Saleem Erakat would not have a chance. 

"Now go in there," Skullcap said, waving the gun toward a 
closet-size bathroom. 

He followed Erakat into the bathroom, grabbing a quilted lap 
robe from one of the chairs and wrapping it around the gun. 

Judo got to the front door just steps ahead of Joaquin Calles. He 
stood in the doorway, blocking the entrance. When Calles walked 
up, Judo said, "Closed, man. The store's closed." 

Calles looked pointedly at the open sign hanging in the door. 
Judo followed his eyes. For an instant it seemed as if the older, re- 
tired waiter might challenge Judo. If he had, Judo might have killed 
him with one or two well-placed blows. As it turned out, Judo 



merely reached inside the door and flipped the sign around to 
closed. Joaquin Calles walked away. 

Judo remained in the doorway for another minute, fidgeting, 
shifting his weight from one foot to the other, trying to wet his lips 
with a dry tongue. Presently the drizzling rain stopped. Judo's eyes 
blinked rapidly. Shit, man, lots of peoples liable to come out soon's 
they see it's quit raining, he told himself. Better warn the brother — 

Anything to get out of that fucking doorway. 

Judo hurried into the store. 

And from around the corner came another Erakat customer, sev- 
enty-four-year-old Nellie White, her dyed red hair a touch of 
brightness in the gray, sunless day. 

In the rear bathroom, Skullcap made Saleem Erakat sit on the 
floor in a corner. The grocer tacitly obeyed; the sooner this thing 
was over, the better. 

"You remember me coming in here every day for an apple, 
huh?" asked Skullcap. 

Erakat nodded. "I remember most of my customers," he said 

"You won't remember anymore," Skullcap told him. 

With the muzzle of the gun barely protruding from the lap robe 
he had wrapped around it, Skullcap nudged Erakat forward until 
the grocer was looking down at the floor on which he sat. 

Then Skullcap squeezed the trigger and shot him once behind the 
right ear. 

Judo heard the muffled crack of the shot as he was hurrying to 
the rear of the store. He went into the back room and in the small 
corner bathroom saw Skullcap bending over the grocer. There was 
blood on the wall behind the slumped victim, and more blood drip- 
ping from his head to a small pool between his spread legs. Judo's 
eyes widened in shock. 

"Man, what the fuck happened?" he blurted. 

"I finished a white devil," Skullcap said with a smirk. Then his 
expression hardened. "Get your ass back out to that door, man!" 

Judo hurried back through the store. His mind was a turmoil of 


Clark Howard 

fear; one apprehensive thought after another raced through his 
head, vying for recognition. He felt sweat literally pop out on his 

Before he reached the front door, he saw Nellie White enter. He 
dropped to a crouch behind a row of shelves. Got to get that old 
woman, he thought. If I don't she'll see me, she'll identify me. 
Blame me for shooting that sucker — 

Judo crept down the length of shelves toward Nellie White. She 
looked pretty old, he thought. Got brittle bones. He could snap her 
neck easy — 

But Judo never quite got to Nellie White. The unsuspecting el- 
derly woman looked in a bin in the front window for some fresh 
garlic, saw that there was none, and quickly walked back out of the 

Judo blinked away the rivulets of sweat that were running into 
his eyes. He watched Nellie leave, then ran back to the rear of the 
store again. Bounding into the back room, he startled Skullcap, 
who was at the round table, examining the money bag. 

"Man, we got to get the fuck out of here! There's all kinds of 
people starting to come in here!" 

"We going," Skullcap said calmly. He opened the attache case 
and put the gun and money bag inside. He noticed Judo glance at 
the money bag. "Don't get no ideas, motherfucker. This money 
goes into the Death Angels' treasury." He snapped the case shut. 
"Come on." 

Skullcap started for the front of the store. Judo looked around 
desperately to see if there was anything in the room worth stealing. 
There was not. Mustering his courage, he stepped into the tiny 
bathroom and felt behind the slumped victim for a wallet. As he 
did, his fingers brushed Erakat's wristwatch. It was low on his 
wrist, below where Skullcap had tied him. Judo worked it off. Then 
he felt again for the wallet. He found it and worked it out of Era- 
kat's pocket. 

Stuffing the watch and wallet into his own pocket, Judo started 
after Skullcap. The door leading back into the small rear room had 
moved almost to a closed position. Judo pulled it open and hurried 
toward the store. 



"Come on, chump, hurry up," said Skullcap. "An' don't be 
touching nothing, sucker; you don't be wearing gloves." 

Judo hesitated. Had he touched the doorknob just before leaving 
the bathroom? He could not remember. Uncertain, he took a tenta- 
tive step backward. 

"Okay, let's split," Skullcap ordered. He walked briskly toward 
the front door. Judo, not wanting to be left in the store alone, im- 
mediately forgot about the doorknob and hurried after him. 

On his way out, Skullcap picked up a Baby Ruth candy bar, un- 
wrapped it, and proceeded to eat it as they walked back to the van. 

Five minutes later, Nellie White returned to the store, this time 
for milk. For the second time, she saw or heard no one on the 
premises. Yet the door was wide open. Looking around the quiet, 
still store, Nellie felt a chill in her spine. Involuntarily, she shud- 
dered. Then she hurried out and went next door to Harrington's 
Irish Club. 

Jack Holder, a retired sausage-maker, was sitting at the bar in 
Harrington's, having his customary Sunday morning drink, when 
Nellie came up to him. "There's something wrong in Sammy's 
store," she said. Few people called Erakat by his proper name of 
Saleem; most called him Sammy. 

"What do you mean?" said Holder. "What's wrong?" 

"The store's open but nobody's around. Not Sammy or any of 
the kids or anybody. It's kind of — scary." 

"Let's have a look," said Holder. 

They went next door. In the back, Holder found Saleem Erakat 
where his killer had left him. 

Officers Dennis McCaffrey and Andrew Citizen responded to the 
call. Upon arrival at the Erakat Grocery they secured the premises 
and summoned an emergency ambulance. After the ambulance ar- 
rived and the attendant determined that Saleem Erakat was official- 
ly and legally dead, the officers requested a watch lieutenant and 
additional help at the scene. They also notified the Crime Lab, the 
Photo Lab, and Homicide. 

While all this was going on, word began to spread swiftly 


Clark Howard 

through the neighborhood that the popular grocer had been slain. 
Telephone calls were made, friends were advised, known acquaint- 
ances of the dead man were told. Within an hour, a dozen relatives 
had arrived at the grocery. Men, women, and children, they were 
crying and wailing in the custom of Jordanian Arabs in mourning. 
One woman lay facedown on the floor and wailed for an hour; the 
policemen in the store had to step over and walk around her. Out- 
side, in the steadily drizzling rain that had begun again, a crowd of 
passersby gathered and stood peering in the store windows, look- 
ing curiously at the distraught family. 

In the meantime, procedure continued to be followed. A Crime 
Lab specialist named McCarthy arrived, and a photo man named 
Clement. Three officers named Ward, Gisler, and Copeland began 
searching out and questioning possible witnesses. 

But most important of all — not only to the crimes already com- 
mitted, but to the eighteen additional crimes which would be com- 
mitted in the next 142 days — there arrived at the scene two Homi- 
cide inspectors to take charge of the Erakat investigation. 

Their names were Gus Coreris and John Fotinos. 

At the end of Day Thirty-seven, there were five victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, surviving, his butchered face still painfully heal- 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

And Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot be- 
hind the ear, after greeting his killer with the words, "Peace be 
with you also." 


Day 53 

Gus Coreris walked like John Garfield used to walk: a little too 
fast, cocky, with his arms swinging as if he were on his way to a 

His partner, John Fotinos, thicker, stockier, was oddly more 
graceful, and was able to keep up with Coreris apparently without 

One got the impression that if they had been on their way to a 
fight, that Coreris's opponent would have had to do battle with a 
wild, tenacious tiger of a man who would have fought tooth and 
nail until he either won or was killed. Fotinos, on the other hand, 
would have fought like a bear: calmly and conservatively, waiting 
until he got his arms around his opponent. Then he would have bro- 
ken his back. 

They had been partners, working Homicide, for thirteen years. 
Closer than most brothers, they had few, if any, secrets from each 
other, and were able to communicate almost silently at times. They 
knew things about each other that even their respective wives did 
not know, because in the business of bodies and bloody murder, 
there are many things a man cannot take home to the family he 
loves. Those things he shares only with his partner. Or his priest. 


Clark Howard 

Coreris and Fotinos were both forty-eight years old, both native 
San Franciscans, both Greek Orthodox. Prior to becoming working 
policemen together, their lives had indirectly crisscrossed and 
matched many times. Fotinos had known Coreris's wife-to-be, 
Kathy Picras, most of his life; they had attended grade school, ju- 
nior high, and high school together. Coreris had played football at 
Poly High against Fotinos at Mission. Their religious ties in the 
Greek Orthodox community of San Francisco were mutual. They 
both went off to World War Two — Fotinos in the Navy, Coreris in 
the Army Air Corps— and both returned home to marry San Fran- 
cisco girls: Coreris marrying Kathy, Fotinos marrying a Catholic 
girl, Barbara Stevens. They became police officers, both rose 
through the ranks, both made inspector and were eventually as- 
signed to the General Work Detail handling the scut work of the 
police department: assaults and batteries, sex crimes, surveil- 
lances, anything else that turned up. Finally they became Homi- 
cide partners. 

Over the years they fathered between them four daughters but 
only one son each. Those sons also became policemen. The two 
Homicide partners had begun a tradition. 

On December 11, 1973, when Saleem Erakat had been dead for 
sixteen days, Coreris and Fotinos still were not sure what kind of 
killing they were dealing with. That was what they told their lieu- 
tenant when they brought him up to date on the status of the case. 

"We know we've got a robbery," said Coreris, "because thir- 
teen hundred bucks was taken. What we aren't sure of is whether 
the reason for the killing was robbery." 

"What other reasons are you considering?" the lieutenant 

"A couple," said Fotinos. "It could have been a professional hit 
where the hit man picked up the money because it just happened to 
be there. The thing has got the M.O. of a hit: victim's hands tied 
behind his back, a single, small-caliber slug behind the ear, the 
whole thing appearing to be well thought out in advance." 

"The weakness in that theory, of course," said Coreris, "is the 
black lookout that witnesses saw at the front door. No white hit 
man is going to use a black for a backup. So if we're talking about a 
hit man, it's got to be a black hit man. Which in turn means we're 



eliminating a lot of motives. We're eliminating gambling, loan- 
sharking, protection: none of those would use a black hit man. If 
any of those operations had a reason to execute Erakat, they'd im- 
port a professional white man." 

"We don't think it's that anyway," said Fotinos. "But what it 
could be is a possible revenge killing." The husky officer leaned 
forward in his chair. "Maybe a couple of blacks pissed off at Era- 
kat about something. Maybe he wouldn't give them credit, or sell 
them beer because they were under twenty-one, something like 
that. A Saturday-night run-in of some kind that they came back and 
settled first thing Sunday morning." 

"Or even a spur-of-the-moment thing," said Coreris. He occa- 
sionally brushed his neat black mustache flat as he spoke. "Maybe 
they were the first customers of the day and Erakat said or did 
something to offend them. So they decided to teach him a lesson. " 

The lieutenant sighed quietly. Coreris and Fotinos were creating 
a dilemma. A self-employed grocer had been shot and killed at his 
place of business. His store was robbed of thirteen hundred dol- 
lars, his person robbed of wallet and watch. Yet the two best 
Homicide cops in the department were for some reason reluctant 
to treat it as an ordinary robbery-murder. "What bothers you two 
about this case?" he asked bluntly. 

"The necktie around the wrists," Coreris said without hesita- 
tion. "It doesn't fit the pattern of two blacks holding up a grocery 

"It might be a holdup-killing," said Fotinos, "but it's something 
else too. That execution touch has got to put it in a different catego- 

"Got to," Coreris emphasized. "Either a psycho, a revenge kill- 
ing, a professional hit — something. But it wasn't just a heist mur- 

The lieutenant mulled it over for a couple of moments. Finally he 
said, "This is a case that the public and the papers are going to 
watch for a while. Erakat was well-known and he was popular. 
There were 250 mourners at his funeral. The cortege out to Wood- 
lawn had eighty-five cars in it. In the Middle East there were me- 
morial services by more than a thousand members of the Erakat 
family still living over there. And the Arab Independent Grocers 


Clark Howard 

Association has put up a five-thousand-dollar reward. I'd like to 
see the case cleared up as quickly as possible — and as cleanly as 
possible. By the same token, I want it cleared up right. What it 
comes down to, I guess, is that you're going to have to go where it 
leads you. Let's just get us a killer." 

"Yessir," the two detectives replied in unison. 

When they left the lieutenant's office, Fotinos said, "Well, 
where do you want to start?" 

"Let's start with a cup of coffee," Coreris said. 

They might as well, Fotinos thought. They sure as hell didn't 
have any place better to start. 

At that moment, at the city jail, Paul Roman Dancik was being 
released from a short incarceration of less than five days. He had 
been arrested the previous Friday by Narcotics Inspectors Cor- 
rales and Herring in the 300 block of Haight Street. The charge 
against him was suspicion of violation of Section 1 1359 of the Cali- 
fornia Health and Safety Code: possession of marijuana for resale. 

Dancik had half a dozen prior arrests for drug-connected 
offenses: possession of hypodermic needles and syringes, posses- 
sion of marijuana plants, loitering in areas where known narcotics 
trade was conducted. He had been a suspected user and/or dealer 
for at least five years. His favorite place to shoot heroin was in his 
inner left elbow: that was where most of his needle marks were. 

Dancik had just passed his twenty-sixth birthday the previous 
month. He was a thin young man, as most confirmed drug users 
are: nearly six feet tall, barely 130 pounds. He usually listed his oc- 
cupation as an artist. Before San Francisco, he had lived in Monte 
Rio, a hamlet seventy-five miles north of the Bay Area. But he had 
lived all over the state — and been in minor scrapes with the law 
everywhere he lived. In San Bernardino he served five days in jail 
for failure to obey a posted sign. In Carmel he served another five 
days for violation of a municipal code prohibiting dogs running 
loose in the business area. In Santa Ana he was arrested for assault 
and battery. In Laguna Beach for the same thing. He was no 
stranger to trouble even before he started using drugs. 

When he was released from jail that morning, Dancik had shaggy 
brown hair and a droopy Zapata mustache. He was wearing denim 



Levis, a dark sport coat, and a white shirt. When he left the jail 
property room, he had plenty of money: included in the personal 
property returned to him was $345 in U.S. currency and $250 in 
Mexican pesos. 

When Paul Roman Dancik left the jail, he went immediately 
back to the 300 block of Haight. He had been five days without a 
fix. He needed to score — bad. 

When Anthony Harris finished instructing the teen judo class 
that Tuesday afternoon, he toweled the sweat from his body, got 
dressed, and hurried outside to meet Debbie. 

"Hi. Sorry you had to wait," he said. 

"That's all right, silly," she replied, taking his hand and squeez- 
ing it. "I don't mind waiting for you." 

Debbie was a short, round-faced black girl, not slim, but not 
heavy either. She was pleasant, rather docile, an energetic, hard 
worker, from a decent, honest family. She practiced Islamics as a 
religion, not a holy war against the white man. Anthony had met 
her a month earlier at the mosque. He had immediately been smit- 
ten by her — and she by him. It was the kind of feeling he had 
dreamed about during his final days in San Quentin. 

As they walked down the street, holding hands, they talked 
about a wedding they had attended the previous night. Larry Green 
had married an attractive young girl named Dinah in a Muslim cere- 
mony, and the newly weds had then driven across the Bay Bridge to 
the Holiday Inn in Emeryville for a two-day honeymoon. 

"I'll bet old Larry is really getting it wet over there in that mo- 
tel," Anthony said to Debbie. She pinched his hand smartly. 

"You know I don't like that kind of vulgar talk, Anthony," she 

"Hey, I'm sorry, baby," Anthony apologized, but he still had a 
lewd grin on his face. 

"Uh-huh," Debbie said knowingly, "you say you sorry for say- 
ing it, but that look on your face tells me you still thinking it. " 

"Hey, you know me too well, woman," he said, feigning cha- 
grin. "How you get to know me so well in such a short time?" 

"I don't know," Debbie replied quietly. She was not playing a 
game now. "I just did, somehow." 


Clark Howard 

Anthony looked steadily at her and his own voice softened. 
"Yeah, I guess you did, all right." 

They held hands a little more tightly as they walked. Anthony 
sighed an inaudible sigh. Yes, this was what he had dreamed about 
in San Quentin. 

He just wished it had happened before he got involved in all that 
other shit — 

Shortly after noon on the rainy Sunday that Saleem Erakat had 
been killed, Judo had stood on a street corner and boarded a num- 
ber 5 McAllister bus. It was uncrowded; he took a seat alone near 
the rear. As the bus proceeded along its route — starting, stopping, 
starting again — Judo surreptitiously slipped Erakat's wallet out of 
his pocket and examined its contents. The money first: $64. Judo 
quickly put it in his pocket. Then the other contents: credit cards 
(which frightened him because he did not know how to use them); 
miscellaneous papers, ID photos, something written in funny sym- 
bols, which Judo thought was Chinese but was actually Arabic. 
Junk, he thought. 

He kept the wallet concealed on his lap as the bus halted and two 
black men got on. They came all the way to the rear of the coach 
and sat several seats behind him. He pretended to pay no attention 
to them, but was already formulating a plan that indirectly involved 

The bus driver, Judo saw, noticed where everyone sat. In his big 
overhead mirror, he would glance up and watch which seat was 
chosen by each new passenger. He had done that with Judo; he had 
also done it with the two black men sitting in the rear seat. That 
was perfect, Judo thought. With a handkerchief, he carefully 
wiped his fingerprints off the wallet and its contents. 

Judo stayed on the bus until the two black men in the rear got off. 
Then, when the driver was concentrating on pulling back into 
traffic, Judo reached behind him and tossed Erakat's wallet onto 
the rear seat. When the driver found it, he would think the other 
two men had disposed of it. 

Judo rode a few more blocks and got off the bus, feeling very 
clever and crafty. It did not occur to him that all he had done was 



indicate that the Erakat killing had been perpetrated by two black 
men — which, in fact, it had. 

The wallet was found by the bus driver, Fred Langlois, when he 
routinely inspected his vehicle's interior at the end of the line. 

Langlois was a suave, cool black man who wore a beard, mod 
glasses, and one earring. He was independent, hep, tough, definite- 
ly his own man. And he was honest. 

He turned the wallet over to his supervisor. 

For a while, Judo enjoyed wearing Saleem Erakat' s gold wrist- 
watch. It was a great convenience simply to glance at one's arm to 
find out what time it was, instead of constantly having to search for 
clocks in store windows, or ask total strangers on the street. Judo 
would have liked to keep the watch. 

But he ran out of money. 

Roy Wittenberg owned Roy's Jewelry and Loan Company on 
Sixth Street. Wittenberg waited on Judo when he brought Erakat's 
watch in to pawn. 

"Ten dollars," he said, after examining the watch. 

"Come on, man, it's worth more than that," Judo protested. 

Wittenberg bobbed his chin at a showcase full of watches. "Not 
to me, buddy. Ten dollars." 

Judo took the ten. 

Honky motherfucker, he thought as he left the store. 

Paul Roman Dancik was having problems. He had more than 
$300 cash in his pocket, had been out of jail for six hours, but could 
not make a drug connection. 

Dancik had immediately returned to the general location of his 
most recent arrest: Haight Street around Buchanan and Webster. 
That was the site of a large, low-income housing project where in 
the past Dancik had been able to connect for any kind of drugs he 
wanted. But on this day, for some reason, every contact he tried he 
had come up empty. It was crazy. Like he was in a strange city or 

Around midafternoon he went to the project apartment of a 


Clark Howard 

black man known to him as Luther G. Luther was an outrageous- 
looking individual: he had dyed red hair and a black mandarin mus- 
tache, and habitually dressed in tight trousers stuffed into the tops 
of cowboy boots, Western-style. He had not one but two white 
wives, both of whom he claimed to be legally married to by way of 
Hindu wedding ceremonies. 

Luther G was not a street person; he was simply an eccentric. 
He did not steal or otherwise hustle. For a living he worked nights 
as a warehouse watchman. Both his wives also worked, one as a 
salesclerk, the other as a tour guide on Fisherman's Wharf. Among 
the three of them, they earned enough to live modestly and satisfy 
their drug habits. All three were cocaine habitues. 

Luther was not pleased to see Paul Dancik when he answered his 
door that afternoon. He knew Dancik had recently been arrested 
right there in the projects. And he could see that Dancik had a des- 
perate look in his eyes. 

"Man, what the fuck's the story around here?" Dancik asked 
Luther. "I can't connect." 

"Nobody around to connect with," Luther said, not inviting 
Dancik in. "Too much heat. Ever'body done set up in new loca- 

"Can you put me on to some, man? I need to connect." 

"I can put you on to some snow. That's all I use." 

"I don't want that shit, man. I want something real." 

"Sorry," said Luther. He started to close the door. 

"Wait a minute, man," Dancik pleaded. He pulled a roll of bills 
from his pocket. "Listen, it's worth twenty to me just for a lead." 

Luther thought about it for a moment. His wives, who were bi- 
sexual, had been wanting a double-headed dildo they had seen in a 
sex shop the previous week. It cost $19.95. 

"Okay," said Luther, "you give me the twenty and come back 
tonight. I'll have a contact for you then." 

"Out of sight," said Dancik. 

He gave Luther G the twenty and left. 

At the mosque, Skullcap was looking for Judo. 

"He already left," said the Fruit of Islam sentry at the rear door. 



There was a stranger with Skullcap, a big black man the guard had 
never seen before. 

"Where'd he go, you know?" Skullcap asked. 

"He met some sister and they headed that way," the sentry told 
him, bobbing his head down the street. 

"Thanks, brother. Come on," he said to the stranger, "let's see 
can we catch up with him." They hurried off in the direction the 
sentry had given them. 

The stranger with Skullcap was a husky, moonfaced man, six 
one, 210 pounds, a solid man with barely an ounce of fat on him. 
When he walked, he appeared unusually burly, as if he had extra 
muscles that other men lacked. He was clean-shaven, his hair 
trimmed very short and neat. He wore round, gold, wire-rim eye- 
glasses that looked incongruous on a man of such obvious strength 
and power. Against his dark brown complexion, the gold rims 
looked like ornamentations. 

Call this man Rims. 

Manuel Leonard Moore never liked white girls. In school they 
often ridiculed him because of a speech problem he had: he slurred 
some words, forgot some others, mispronounced some, and fre- 
quently interjected a grunting or hawking sound to substitute for a 
word or phrase he was not sure he could handle. 

"Looks like a monkey, talks like a monkey," the white girls 
would say. 

"Aw, go finger-fuck yourself," Manuel told them. 

Sometimes a white boy would overhear him and there would be a 
fight. Manuel was big enough and strong enough to win most of the 
fights, but that did not matter; after the girls told what he said to 
them, he was usually expelled anyway. From the time he was four- 
teen years old, he was suspended from school on a regular basis. 

At home, Manuel's father, Raymond Moore, was what is eu- 
phemistically described as a strict disciplinarian. That is, when 
Manuel was suspended, his father beat the hell out of him. Ray- 
mond Moore had no time for the psychological approach to child- 
raising. He had nine others besides Manuel, and he broke his back 
ten and twelve hours a day as a laborer for a paving company to 


Clark Howard 

support his large family. As far as he was concerned, there was 
only one rule that needed to be applied to raising his children: be 
good — or get a beating for being bad. Regular attendance at the 
Church of Christ with his wife Viola only reinforced his "spare the 
rod, spoil the child" conviction. 

Attending school was sheer torture for Manuel. He did not learn 
to read or write — yet, incredibly, he continued to be passed to the 
next higher grade. Within the framework of the California system 
of education, Manuel Leonard Moore actually progressed into the 
tenth grade — his sophomore year of high school — without learning 
to read. He did learn to recognize certain words by the way they 
looked alone — but not many; and he learned to sign his own name; 
but he could not identify the individual letters in his name unless 
they were in the exact sequence in which he had learned them. 

Manuel began to steal when he was thirteen. Nothing big, noth- 
ing very valuable, just kid-type stealing, shoplifting, petty thefts. 
The family lived in San Bernardino County then, in Southern Cali- 
fornia. Most of the time when Manuel was caught, it was by the 
police in the little town of Fontana. Each time, the Fontana PD 
handled the violation without going through the formalities of the 
juvenile court. After all, Manuel was not really a bad boy, not a 
criminal; he was just a local black kid who had a speech problem 
and was not too bright in school. He would be all right, as soon as 
he was old enough to go out and get a laborer's job. 

There came a time, however, when the Fontana PD was unable 
to handle Manuel informally, internally. When he was fourteen, he 
ran away — probably from one of his father's severe beatings — and 
when he was picked up and returned to the area as a runaway, he 
had to face the court process. That process committed him to the 
Verdemont Boys Ranch. They kept him less than a year, then re- 
leased him to his home on probation. According to their evalua- 
tion, he had made "real progress" — they had taught him the alpha- 
bet all the way up to H. 

Manuel Moore was now one of society's misfits. He could not 
read or write, he was ridiculed for a speech problem, the schools 
did not want him, his father knew only one way to handle him, he 
was too young to hold a job legally, and he had a juvenile police 



What to do? Manuel wondered. He did not know. He had no di- 
rection, no guidance, no goals. A piece of flotsam in the main- 
stream of life. 

Manuel began to break the law with stunning regularity. Before 
his seventeenth birthday, he was arrested twice for violation of 
juvenile curfew, and investigated for six burglaries and one car 
theft. After that, it was anything and everything: suspicion of rob- 
bery, battery, burglary, forcible rape, possession of alcohol by a 
minor, failure to appear on traffic citations, receiving stolen prop- 
erty, possession of marijuana, violation of probation, drunk driv- 
ing; then more burglaries; and more and more. Occasionally they 
locked him up: 60 days for petty theft, 15 days for failure to appear 
on traffic citations, 120 days for receiving stolen property, more 
failures to pay traffic fines: 7 days, 4 days, 6 days, 5 days — he was 
in and out of the county jail like it was a transient hotel. The long- 
est term he served was ninety days for petty theft; the shortest, 
two days for a traffic violation. 

In 1969 the State of California apparently got tired of playing 
games with Manuel. It convicted him of second-degree burglary 
and sentenced him to serve from six months to fifteen years in pris- 
on. He was sent to San Quentin. After two years and three months 
there, he was paroled. He stayed out thirteen months, then was ar- 
rested for two burglaries and returned to prison as a parole viola- 
tor. This time they only kept him one year. As they had been with 
parole violator Jesse Lee Cooks, the people who decide these mat- 
ters were certain that a very short term was adequate to prepare 
Manuel Moore to reenter society. 

One thing was certain: that short term was long enough for 
Manuel to embrace Muslimism fervently. 

As Anthony Harris walked along the street holding hands with 
Debbie, J. C. Simon and Manuel Moore hurried to catch up with 
them from behind. 

"Hey, brother, wait up," said J.C. "Look who I got with me." 
Anthony turned and was surprised to see Manuel. He and Manu- 
el and Jesse Lee Cooks had all belonged to the San Quentin 
Mosque together. "Well, kiss my ass if it ain't the Man," Anthony 
said. He was genuinely happy to see Manuel, whom he had always 


Clark Howard 

liked. He looked upon Manuel Moore as a big, muscular, gentle 
giant, always affable, always friendly, ready to do anything for a 
brother. As Manuel approached, Anthony offered his hand, palm 
up. Manuel slapped it down smartly. 

"Hey, Ant'ny," said Manuel, smiling widely. "How do you be 
making it, man?" 

"All right, Big Man. Making it just fine. When you get out?" 

"Le's see," Manuel said, frowning, thinking about it, trying to 
formulate an accurate answer in his mind. He was unable to do it, 
unable to track the days in his slow mind; but it did not embarrass 
him with Anthony, who was his friend. He merely grinned and 
shrugged, "I ain't be out long," he said. 

"He's been at the Halfway House," J.C. said. "But now he's 
going to stay at my place. And he's going to work at Black Self 

"All right!" said Anthony. He remembered then that Debbie 
was waiting discreetly on the side for him to finish talking. "Oh, 
say, this here is Debbie," he said. "Sugar, this is the Man, Manuel 
Moore. Him and me done a little time together up in Big Q; ain't 
that right, Man?" 

"You right." Manuel looked at Debbie. He wished he could be 
supercool like J.C, say something like, "How you swinging there, 
little mamma?" — but from past experience he knew he could not 
handle that kind of talk. He always fucked up when he tried. So he 
just smiled and said, "Hi." 

"Hello, Manuel," Debbie said, "it's nice to meet you." Debbie 
held out her hand and he awkwardly shook it with his own big paw. 
"Do you have any people in San Francisco?" she asked. 

As Debbie engaged Manuel in conversation, J.C. drew Anthony 
aside and spoke to him in a confidential tone. "What you going to 
be doing later tonight, brother?" 

"Why?" Anthony asked suspiciously. 

"I just thought you and me could take Manuel out for a while. 
Show him around. You know what I mean?" 

Anthony glanced self-consciously at Debbie. She did not like J. 
C. Simon and did not approve of Anthony associating with him. "I 
ain't sure what I'll be doing tonight," he hedged. 

J.C.'s expression did not change but Anthony could see his eyes 
harden and turn cold. "Okay," J.C. said, "I just thought since 



Manuel was a friend of yours, you might want to help him get start- 
ed on the right track, you know? I just thought it might look funny 
to the other guys down at Black Self Help if you didn't try to do 
nothing for your friend you was in prison with. But maybe you see 
it a different way . " 

Anthony was properly chagrined. He looked down at the side- 
walk, then over at Debbie again. Both Debbie and Manuel were 
looking at him. "Okay, man, okay," he said quietly to J.C. 

"Hey, good deal, brother!" J.C. replied with a smile. He always 
smiled when he got his way. "We'll pick you up on the corner over 
by Alamo Park 'bout nine. Is that cool?" 

"Yeah," Anthony grumbled, "that's cool." 

After leaving Anthony and Debbie, J. C. Simon took Manuel 
Moore home with him. J.C. had an apartment on Grove near Fill- 
more. It was in a modern but modest two-story, multi-unit building 
set on a narrow but very deep lot. Larry Green and his wife Dinah 
lived in the same building. 

For nearly three months, J.C.'s estranged wife Pat and their little 
girl Crissy had been living with him. They had come up from Hous- 
ton the last week in September to try for a reconciliation. It had 
been at J.C.'s instigation; he wrote Pat how well he was doing, how 
he had been promoted to assistant manager at Black Self Help, 
how he had made new friends through the mosque, and how in gen- 
eral he felt that they could make a go of it if she would come to 

Patricia made the trip to San Francisco. And found that nothing 
had changed. 

In San Francisco, just as he had done in Houston, J.C. still put 
his Muslim friends first, and her and Crissy second. J.C. still went 
out nights and left her and Crissy alone. J.C. still talked about four 
hundred years of oppression by white people, still scorned what he 
referred to as the "Caucasian intellect," still expected her to ad- 
just her personal philosophy to suit his. And J.C. still brought 
strange, wild-eyed friends home to sit with in a dimly lit corner and 
talk in low voices about God knows what. 

No, J.C. had not changed. Pat knew it from the first week. But 
she tried to find a way to work it out, for Crissy's sake. The child 
worshiped her daddy — and J.C, when he was not busy with some 


Clark Howard 

Black Muslim meeting or whatever else he did with his time, recip- 
rocated. Daddy and daughter together were a sheer delight to see. 
But the moments were rare. 

By the end of the second month, Pat had decided to return to 
Texas. She was just waiting for the right time, the right excuse. It 
came the night J.C. brought Manuel Moore home to stay with 

"J.C. , are you crazy?" she asked him in the privacy of their bed- 
room. "That man can't stay with us. Why, you don't even know 
anything about him. ' ' 

"I know he's a brother," J.C. replied. "That's all I have to 

"Well, it's not all I have to know. For God's sake, J.C, I'd be 
afraid to close my eyes at night with him in the next room, much 
less let Crissy go to sleep unguarded." 

"Woman, that is a lot of shit," J.C. said firmly. "The man is a 
brother. He is just out of prison and he needs help." 

"Let him get help at the Halfway House or whatever it is that he 
was staying at." 

"He is finished with the Halfway House. What he needs now is 
personal help, individual help. He needs my help." 

"I think you the one who needs help," she snapped. "Help in 
the head." 

"Whatever I need," he replied coldly, "it ain't advice from you. 
Now you fix supper for me and the brother, hear? And later on to- 
night after supper, him and me is going out for a spell, and I don't 
want to hear no shit about it either. Understand?" 

Pat turned and silently left the room. She certainly did under- 
stand. All too well. 

Judo was waiting on the corner when Skullcap and Rims drove 
up. He was surprised to see them not in the van but in a black Cad- 
illac several years old. Judo got into the back seat. "Where'd you 
get the wheels, man?" he asked Skullcap. 

"They belong to the boss," Skullcap replied. 

Judo nodded. He was not quite sure who Skullcap meant, but he 
did not pursue the matter. He patted Rims on the shoulder. "How 
you making it, brother?" 



"I be doing all right, just fine," said Rims. He grinned back at 
Judo. "I gonna get me my first devil tonight." 

Judo felt a sudden depression come over him. Shit, he thought. 
You too? Weren't there any sane people left? Then he grunted si- 
lently to himself. You a fine one to wonder, he thought. What the 
fuck you doing here? And with a gun in your belt, too. 

Judo tried to tell himself that he thought they were going out on a 
stickup. But he knew that he should have known better. 

"Say, man, you got your piece?" Skullcap asked. Then without 
waiting for an answer, he said, "Let the brother hold it for a spell. 
Get him used to handling one." 

Motherfucker! Judo thought. Why his gun? Why the fuck didn't 
Skullcap get his own piece back from whoever the fuck he let bor- 
row it? Else get him another one. Judo did not like other people 
handling his gun. 

Nevertheless he slipped it from under his coat and passed it up to 

The moonfaced black examined the weapon in what he hoped 
was a respectful, intelligent manner. "Look like a nice piece, 
man," he commented, even though he would not have known the 
difference had he been handling a German Luger instead of an ordi- 
nary .32-caliber automatic. 

"It is, man," said Skullcap with a grin. "I can give witness to 
that, can't I, brother?" he asked Judo. 

"Yeah, sure," Judo said sullenly. He wanted his gun back. 

"Just hold on to it for a spell," Skullcap told Rims, as if it were 
his gun instead of Judo's. "Get the feel of it while we look for us a 

The Cadillac moved south on Steiner, toward Haight. 

When Paul Dancik returned to Luther G's apartment, the door 
was barely opened to him — three inches on a security chain. 
Through the narrow slit, he could see an attractive white girl with a 
peaches-and-cream complexion, wearing the uniform of a tour 
guide. One of Luther G's menage a trois, Dancik thought. Not bad 
either, if a man was interested in sex — which at that moment he 
was not. 

"Is Luther here?" he asked through the slit. 


Clark Howard 

"No, but he left this for you." The girl handed him a scrap of pa- 
per with a telephone number on it. 

"Is this all? No name or nothing?" 

"That's all." 

Shit, Dancik thought irritably. "Can I use your phone?" 

"We don't have one," the girl said. "The deposit's too high. But 
there's a pay phone over by the corner of the parking lot." 

She shut the door before Dancik could say anything further, 
leaving him standing there with the scrap of paper in his hand. 

Shit, he thought again. He left the apartment building and started 
across the parking lot toward the pay phone. 

"There one," said Rims as the Cadillac, now on Haight, cruised 
past the parking lot. They were near the pay phone and could see a 
young white man coming toward it. 

"That's just a man," Skullcap said. "We can keep looking and 
find you a woman or a kid." 

Rims shook his head. "I just — " He hesitated, the words falter- 
ing, then he blurted it out: "Ijustsoondoitquick." 

"Okay, brother, it's your devil. I'll circle the lot and you can 
come up on him from behind." 

' ' Yeahthat' sgoodthat' sgood . ' ' 

Skullcap accelerated slightly and rounded the block to the other 
side of the projects. Now they were in a position to see the white 
man going toward the pay phone, instead of coming toward it; his 
back was to them. Skullcap pulled to the curb and left the engine 
running. He slapped Rims on the thigh. "Go get that devil," he 
said in a voice oddly reverent, as if he were sending forth a preach- 
er to spread the gospel. 

Rims put the gun under his coat and got out of the car. Skullcap 
looked in the back seat at Judo. "Be nice if you'd back the brother 
up," he said pointedly. "Or you just gonna sit back there and 

Judo felt a hot flush of embarrassment. "I could do a lot more, 
man, if you wouldn't keep taking my piece." 

"Shit, man," Skullcap chided, "you don't need a piece. You a 
fucking black belt, remember? I mean, your fucking hands sup- 
posed to be deadly weapons, daddy." Skullcap's tone was deri- 



sive. It was obvious that the swashbuckler felt he could take the 
judo fighter. 

A moment of heavy silence hung between them: challenging si- 
lence such as Judo had uncomfortably experienced with Head. His 
eyes were locked with Skullcap's eyes, and Judo knew instinctive- 
ly that Skullcap would die before he averted his eyes first. Know- 
ing that, Judo did not even try to make a contest of it. He looked 

Skullcap glanced out the car window at Rims lumbering across 
the parking lot behind the white devil. "Well, brother?" he said 
pointedly to Judo. 

Judo got out of the car and hurried after Rims. 

The pay phone in the corner of the projects parking lot stood on 
a single pole seated in the cement apron. At the top of the phone 
was an oval pod with an open front, which afforded protection 
from the elements for the instrument but not the user. A six-foot- 
long bench seat was mounted on a cement ledge just behind the 
phone; a thick growth of shrubbery and vines grew between the 
ledge and the corner of a building a few feet away. 

Paul Dancik walked up to the phone, the scrap of paper in one 
hand, and fished around in his pocket for a dime. 

A few yards behind Dancik, automatic held under his coat, a 
wide-eyed, determined Rims moved ever closer to him. 

Behind Rims, Judo walked fast enough to make it look to Skull- 
cap as if he were trying to catch up with Rims, but slowly enough 
that he would not actually accomplish it. 

Just around the corner of the building behind the pay phone, a 
man named Eduardo Abdi was on his way to use that same phone. 
Abdi was a small man in his forties, dark, swarthy, wearing a mus- 
tache. He had eyes that never stopped darting, shifting, searching, 
eyes that wanted to see everything, miss nothing. What he saw 
when he stepped around the corner of the building caught him com- 
pletely by surprise and caused him to stop dead in his tracks. 

Paul Dancik stepped up to the phone pod, dime in one hand, 
scrap of paper in the other, and reached for the receiver. 

Rims stepped up behind Dancik and leveled the automatic. 
Nervously he wet his lips. "Hey, you — " 


Clark Howard 

Without picking up the receiver, Dancik turned at the sound of 
the voice. Rims held the gun out straight and shot him three times. 

Dancik did not fall. The scrap of paper fluttered to the ground 
and he put one hand on his chest where the bullets had gone in. He 
and Rims stared incredulously at each other. Then Dancik began to 
stagger toward Rims. 

Behind his round glasses, Rims's eyes grew wide with fright. He 
turned and looked pleadingly at Judo, who was poised fearfully 
nearby. What the fuck do I do now?! his look asked. 

Dancik staggered past Rims, staggered twenty feet out to the 
sidewalk and stood there, eyes wide, probably seeing nothing. A 
single trickle of blood flowed over the middle of his bottom lip and 
ran down his chin. 

Eight feet away, Eduardo Abdi watched the scene, transfixed. 

Rims took a few steps toward Dancik, whose back was now to 
him. He wondered if he should shoot him again. Deciding he had 
better, he raised the gun; but before he could fire, Paul Dancik, al- 
ready dead, fell straight back and lay across the sidewalk like a 
carefully placed barricade. 

Judo rushed to the fallen body and began to go through its pock- 
ets. Rims walked over and looked at him in revulsion. "We don't 
be 'posed to rob no devils," he said, recalling his San Quentin 
Mosque training. 

Judo ignored him. Rims began to blink rapidly, consternation 
shrouding his moonf ace. 

"Man, I say we don't be 'posed to do that!" he said loudly. 

"Shut up, fool!" Judo said. He found a thick wad of currency 
and shoved it into his pocket. Then he found another. Jesus Christ! 
Was this fucking guy a bookie's runner or something? 

"Man, we gonna get in a lot of shit over this!" Rims said, mean- 
ing the robbery, not the killing. 

"Will you shut the fuck up!" Judo snapped. He stood up and for 
a brief moment he and Rims faced each other over the dead man's 

Standing now about ten feet away, Eduardo Abdi was, incred- 
ibly, unobserved by either. 

Watching the scene from his apartment across the street, a sixty- 
five-year-old black man named Albert Cook thought all three men 



were together. He had heard the shots and ran to his living room 
window. It looked to him as if three men were arguing. 

But it was only two: Judo and Rims, caught up in a moment of 
murder and madness, one killing the devil, one robbing the dead, 
neither able to understand the motive of the other. 

From across the parking lot, an automobile horn sounded. Skull- 
cap. Judo and Rims suddenly remembered where they were, what 
they were doing, and why the horn was blowing. 

Motherfucker, what if he drives off without us\ 

The two blacks turned and raced across the lot. 

Officers James Long and Al Lambert were in a radio car three 
blocks away when the shooting call was broadcast. They rolled on 
it at once and were at the scene within one minute. As soon as they 
arrived, Eduardo Abdi ran up to them. 

"I was just gonna call you guys," he said excitedly. 

"What happened here?" Long asked. 

"We were just standing here," Abdi said, "when two guys came 
over and opened up on us." 

Lambert was checking the victim. "Looks gone," he said. 

"You know him?" Long asked Abdi. 

"Sure. We were working a case together." 

"A case? What kind of case? Are you a police officer?" 

"I can't say any more," Abdi told him. 

"This guy's gone," said Lambert. "Which way did they go?" he 
asked Abdi. 

"Across the lot." 

Lambert cautiously moved onto the lot to check it out. Long was 
suspicious of Abdi and his remark about "working a case togeth- 
er," but he was also acutely aware that precious seconds were tick- 
ing away without a description of the gunmen being on the air. 
"Give me a quick description of the two men," he told Abdi. 

"Well, let's see," said Abdi. "They were both black. The one 
guy was about five seven or five eight; maybe a hundred forty-five, 
hundred fifty; had an Afro, but it was a short one. He was wearing 
a navy-blue pea coat and blue jeans. That's all I remember." 

"That's plenty," said Long, impressed. Maybe the guy was an 
officer. "What about the second man?" 


Clark Howard 

"He looked the same," said Abdi. 

"The same? You mean exactly?" 

"He might have been ten or fifteen pounds lighter. Maybe he had 
a shorter Afro. But dressed the same way." 

"Navy-blue pea coat and blue jeans?" 


"Are you sure you got a real good look at these guys?" 

"Yeah. Positive." 

Long was skeptical, but at the moment Abdi was all he had. 
"Wait here, please, while I call this in," he told the witness. 

While Long was at the patrol car broadcasting the descriptions 
he had been given of the gunmen, and Lambert was still checking 
the edge of the shadowy parking lot, a small crowd began to gather 
near the body. No one noticed when Eduardo Abdi slipped into 
that crowd and disappeared. 

In the Cadillac, driving south on Buchanan, Rims was complete- 
ly out of sorts. 

"This be my first sting," he said to Judo, "and you done fuck it 
up. You done make it look like a shitass street robbery by taking 
that devil's money. Like, we don't be 'posed to steal, man." 

"The brother's right," said Skullcap, at the wheel. 

"Shit, man, you did it," Judo retorted. "Or maybe you done for- 
got the money bag from that store. 'Member, you said it was going 
into the Death Angels' treasury?" 

"That's different, man." Skullcap defended himself at once. "If 
you took the money for the treasury, that's different. Is that what 
you did?" 

Judo tried desperately to think of some way to hedge, to evade a 
direct answer, to keep some of the money for himself. But they 
were at a stoplight and Skullcap's eyes were riveted on him in the 
rearview mirror. "Yeah, man, that's what I did," he said reluctant- 

"How much you get?" Skullcap asked. 

"Shit, man, I don't know!" Judo snapped. "I didn't stop to 
count the fucking stuff — " Then he suddenly realized that he could 
salvage some of the money for himself. He had grabbed two rolls 
of bills from that sucker. Unless Rims had seen him take both of 
them, all he had to do was just hand over one. In the darkness of 



the back seat, he surreptitiously felt in each coat pocket, trying to 
determine which roll was the smallest. 

When the light changed, Skullcap pulled around the corner on 
Duboce Avenue and parked. "Let's see the money," he said. 

Judo randomly selected one pocket and pulled out the roll of cur- 
rency it held. He passed it forward to Skullcap, who examined it in 
the light of the dashboard. 

"Pesos!" Skullcap literally spat. A fine spray of spittle landed on 
Rims's left hand. The big man wiped it off in disgust. "Fucking 
Mexican pesos!" Skullcap continued in mixed anger and increduli- 
ty. "Shit, man, this stuff don't be worth more than twenty dollars 
in American money." 

"What the fuck you mean?" Judo demanded. "You got a whole 
fucking handful of money there!" As long as he had to give it up, 
he wanted some decent credit for putting it into the Death Angels' 
treasury. Twenty dollars would not buy much credit. "Got to be 
more than twenty bucks there!" he insisted. 

"Hey, motherfucker, don't tell me," Skullcap said. "I be from 
Texas, remember? I know how much this greaser money is worth. 
It's worth shit, that's what it's worth." 

Son of a bitch, Judo thought. That meant he had another roll of 
shit in his other pocket. Motherfucker. He had hoped to score good 
so he could impress his new girlfriend. 

"Do this mean I stung a Mesican?" Rims asked almost petulant- 
ly. "I don't be get no credit for no sting?" 

"Hey, you going to get credit, brother," Skullcap said in as gen- 
tle a voice as Judo had ever heard him use. Skullcap obviously 
liked Rims. "That sucker was white, brother, and I'm going to wit- 
ness it for you. Nobody going to do you out of that sting. " 

"Good," Rims said, nodding. "Good. Good." He repeated the 
word several times, grinning at Skullcap, sorry now that he had 
been so quick to wipe away his new friend's spit. 

Skullcap started the car and pulled away from the curb. "Want 
to try another one?" he asked. He glanced in the mirror at Judo. 
"You about ready to get one, brother?" 

"Not tonight, man," Judo said. "I ain't in the mood no more. 
That Mexican money done got me upset." It was the best excuse 
he could think of. 

"Sure it has," Skullcap replied knowingly. He was beginning to 


Clark Howard 

understand what Head had said about this man not having the heart 
to be a true Death Angel. 

"Run me up Webster a few blocks and drop me off, man," Judo 
said. "I got someplace to go." His new girlfriend had an apartment 
on Webster. 

As they drove north again, they all heard the sound of another 
siren speeding toward the projects parking lot. 

At the scene of the shooting, Paul Dancik was still stretched out 
across the sidewalk, his feet pointing toward the curb. A Central 
Ambulance unit had responded to the call and a medic named Mi- 
chaud was bent over the body. When he got up, he said, officially, 
"Okay, he's dead." Officer Al Lambert logged the time of the pro- 
nouncement at 2150 hours — ten minutes before ten. Lieutenant 
Klapp and Sergeant Racin of the Northern District had arrived to 
take charge of the physical scene, while Lieutenant Ellis, along 
with Inspectors Podesta and Schneider, of Homicide, responded to 
take charge of the investigation itself. 

A Photo Lab inspector named Sleadd and a Crime Lab man 
named Ken Moses went to work as soon as the medic got out of the 
way. The first thing the Crime Lab man did was draw circles 
around three brass shell casings that were found on the ground be- 
tween the pay phone and the point where the victim had staggered 
and fallen. 

"Look like thirty-twos," he said, half to himself. 

The Photo Lab man began to flash pictures from all angles. Each 
flash lighted the scene in stark, deathlike white, for a split instant 
making the living and the dead look the same. 

In the nearby small crowd, Officer James Long looked for 
Eduardo Abdi. The little witness was nowhere to be found. 

Skullcap stopped the car in the middle of a block on Webster. 
The sound of two more sirens was splitting the night silence. The 
men could not tell if they were heading toward the projects or not. 

"Go on, take off, man," Skullcap said urgently. "You on your 
own now." 

Judo got out of the car and walked quickly away from it. He did 
not even say good-bye to his friend Rims, whose eyes were darting 



nervously back and forth as if he expected a battalion of police to 
descend on him at any second. Nor did Judo think to get his gun 
back from Rims. He just got away from the car and its two remain- 
ing occupants as fast as he could. 

Crossing the sidewalk, Judo hurried past a few doors, then 
ducked into the entrance of a convenient apartment building. He 
stood just inside the doorway, hiding, until the Cadillac proceeded 
down the block and around the corner. Then he came back out and 
started walking toward the apartment of his new girl. 

Crazy motherfuckers, he thought, now that he was away from 
his friends. He had been happy to see Rims when the moonfaced 
man got out of San Quentin, but now that he saw him in the compa- 
ny of Skullcap, he realized that Rims was as fucked up as the rest 
of them. I got to find a way to get shed of these mothers, he told 
himself. Else I be ending up like they be. 

He was almost to the corner when he suddenly remembered the 
other roll of currency he had taken off the white devil. Mexican pe- 
sos, he thought. Shit. He wondered where he would be able to 
trade it for American money. Even if he did only get twenty bucks 
for it, that was better than nothing. He stopped now in the light of a 
streetlamp to examine the money. Looking at it, his eyes got very 

Motherfucker! It wasn't pesos, it was fucking dollars! 

Quickly, trembling, he counted it: 50—100—120—140—160 

Judo shoved the money back into his pocket and hurried down 
the street. He was exhilarated. His face split into a wide grin. 

Midway down the block, he paused and gave the finger to the 
general direction in which the Cadillac had gone. 

Back at the death scene, a man named Smith from the San Fran- 
cisco coroner's office arrived and took charge of the mortal re- 
mains of Paul Roman Dancik. He wrote out a receipt for the body 
and gave it to Officers Long and Lambert. Dancik was loaded into 
the coroner's panel truck and taken away to the morgue. 

At the end of Day Fifty-three, there were six victims. 
Quita Hague, hacked to death. 


Clark Howard 

Richard Hague, out of the hospital, his butchered face now hor- 
ribly scarred. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death — and soon 
to have to decide whether to allow her attacker to escape formal 
punishment for what he had done to her. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot behind 
the ear. 

And Paul Dancik, shot three times in the chest as he attempted to 
use a public telephone at the edge of a housing project parking lot. 


Day 55 

Gus Coreris and John Fotinos were concentrating heavily on 
the Saleem Erakat case. Erakat had been dead for eighteen days. 
So far they had nothing but suspicions and evidence which they 
could not correlate with suspects. 

"I still say it was Muslims," Fotinos insisted, emphasizing a 
hunch he had developed early on in the initial investigation. He 
based it mainly on the description of the black man seen at the 
front door by Joaquin Calles. "If it had just been some punk stick- 
up guys, they wouldn't have been so neatly dressed and well- 
groomed. Got to be Muslims." 

"Muslims don't steal," said Coreris. 

"Everybody steals," Fotinos retorted. 

"Orthodox Greeks don't," said Coreris. 

"That's different," Fotinos allowed. 

The two detectives were perusing Crime Lab reports on the Era- 
kat case. Coreris scanned the list of physical evidence. It was 
lengthy — all the items found in close proximity to the victim which 
might yield fingerprints: a small loaf of bread, four size AA Eve- 
ready batteries, a six-pack of Hamm's beer, a can of Franco- 
American Beef Gravy, a light bulb, a two-ounce jar of Sanka 


Clark Howard 

instant coffee, two empty Coke bottles — ad infinitum. Plus the 
open-closed sign from the door. Miscellaneous papers from the 
table in the back room. One expended .32-caliber bullet casing. 
And the victim's wallet, which had been turned over to Homicide 
by the municipal bus line. 

The Erakat death scene had been processed for latent finger- 
prints, and numerous usable prints had been developed — but so far 
none of them had been matched to anyone whose prints were on 
file. Fotinos and Coreris were concentrating on a palm print that 
had been lifted from the inside doorknob in the tiny bathroom 
where the body was found. When they had a hunch who the palm 
print might belong to, they filled out a Form 64 and sent it down to 
the crime lab. Form 64 was a request for any laboratory examina- 
tion involving latent prints, firearms, laundry or dry-cleaning 
marks, tool marks, documents, blood, hair, semen, paint, or other 
matter which was capable of being identified, evaluated, and com- 
pared. So far Coreris and Fotinos had sent in a number of Form 64s 
on the palm print, with no positive results. 

"Harold George came back negative," said Fotinos, tossing the 
report onto a pile. "John Hunter, negative." Another toss. "Leroy 
Doctor, negative. Earbie Moore, negative." He tossed them all 
onto the pile. "At this rate, we'll soon eliminate every creep in the 

"I had a lot of hope for the Earbie Moore hunch," said Coreris. 
"Who made the report on the print?" 

Fotinos looked at the typed name and scrawled signature at the 
bottom of the Form 10 — Laboratory Results of Examination. The 
name was Mitchell L. Luksich. 

"Mitch Luksich," said Fotinos. "Why? You think he might 
have made a mistake?" 

"Shit, no," said Coreris. "Luksich don't make mistakes." 

In the basement of the Hall of Justice, in a cubicle barely large 
enough for his six-foot-seven-inch, 230-pound frame, Mitch Luk- 
sich was bent over a microscope examining the striations on two 
spent slugs: the microscopic marks etched into the body of a slug 
as it passes through the barrel of a weapon. Infinitesimal, these 
marks are as distinctive as human fingerprints: no two are alike. 



At twenty-nine, Mitch Luksich was one of the most qualified 
firearms experts in the business. A biology graduate from San 
Francisco State College, he had been a crime lab employee for the 
SFPD for seven years. He was an individualist, wearing cowboy 
boots and smoking foul-smelling cheroots in urbane San Francisco. 
Articulate and confident, he could talk for hours about firearms; he 
had a personal collection worth more than half a million dollars, 
and spent nearly every weekend traveling to gun shows all over the 
country to buy, sell, and trade weapons. He made far more money 
bartering old guns than he did as a civil servant, but his job was as 
important to him as his hobby, because he was a man of science 
and nothing gave him greater pleasure than to locate infallible 
truths through the lenses of a microscope. 

As he was doing now. 

On a counter beside his microscope was a cellophane envelope 
marked "Lab. 73-9082" with the name "Dancik" on it. It con- 
tained three spent shell casings and two spent slugs which had been 
removed from the body of Paul Dancik. The third slug taken from 
his body was under Luksich's microscope. Also under the micro- 
scope was another slug from another cellophane envelope, that 
Luksich was carefully examining, slowly and carefully comparing, 
slowly and carefully — and patiently, always patiently — matching 
the minute striations. 

When he was finished, and had satisfied himself that he was ab- 
solutely, scientifically correct, he picked up the phone and called 

"Gus, Mitch Luksich," he said when Coreris answered. "I just 
made a match of the slug the coroner took out of Saleem Erakat's 
head. It was fired from the same gun that killed a fellow named 
Dancik who was shot on the street night before last." 

Luksich had no way of knowing it as he spoke, but his phone call 
was the first line in a terrible pattern yet to be drawn. 

J. C. Simon strutted into a coffee shop on Market Street, a 
swashbuckler now in work clothes. Manuel Moore lumbered in be- 
hind him. They sat in a booth next to the window. J.C. unfolded a 
Chronicle, took out the sports section, and pushed the rest of the 
paper to Manuel. Self-consciously, Manuel accepted it. 


Clark Howard 

J.C. began to emote on the second Ali-Frazier fight, which was 
six weeks away. "Ali going to ruin that motherfucking Frazier," 
he predicted. "AH got Allah behind him. He got the prayers of ev- 
ery Muslim in the world going for him. Frazier's nothing but a 
white nigger. Muhammad will destroy him!" 

"Frazier awful tough," Manuel said dubiously. "He like a fire- 

"Don't mean shit," J.C. assured him. "Ali going to hit all over 
him. Then, after he beat Frazier, he going to go after George Fore- 
man. That be when he win the title back." 

"Foreman awful tough," said Manual. "And big." 

"Size don't mean nothing to Ali," J.C. said disparagingly. 

They ordered milk and doughnuts. While they ate, J.C. con- 
tinued to scan the sports pages. He noticed that Manuel was not 
reading the rest of the paper. 

"You want the sports, brother?" he asked. "I can read another 

"No, man, that's okay." Manuel looked out the window, embar- 

"What's the matter, brother? Something wrong?" 

"No, everything be cool," Manuel said. But there was some- 
thing in his voice — a strain, a pull — that told J.C. it was not so. He 
put aside the paper in concern. 

"Listen, man," he said quietly, "if you got a problem, you can 
tell me about it, you dig? I mean, we brothers, see? We got to share 
things and help each other. I mean, people like us, if we don't got 
each other, we got nobody. We don't survive. Now what's bother- 
ing your ass?" 

Manuel sighed quietly. "I can't read," he said. 

J.C.'s eyebrows went up. "No shit? I mean, for real? You can't 
read nothing?" 

"Nothing but a few things. Signs and stuff like that. And my 

"How far did you get in school?" 

"Second year high." 

"Without reading?" 

"Yeah. Teachers just kept on passing me." 

"Well, kiss my black ass," J.C. said in astonishment. "Second 



year high school without being able to read." He shook his head. 
"The fucking white man's educational system. What about the two 
times you were in the joint? Didn't they try to get you to go to 

Manuel shook his head. "One counselor say it be too late for me. 
Say my learning motor — something like that — done got too. 

"He's full of shit," J.C. said almost viciously. "Fucking white 
man just don't want no black men educated. Nobody ever too old 
to learn." He leaned forward eagerly and touched Manuel's hand. 
"Listen, brother, you want to learn to read?" 

Manuel blinked rapidly several times. "S-s-sure." 

"Then I'm gonna teach you how, man. We'll start tonight; les- 
son number one tonight. Right after we get back." 

"Get back from where? Where we going to?" 

"We going out tonight," J.C. said. 

His face had become a cold mask. 

Seven weeks after she had been assaulted and raped by Jesse 
Lee Cooks, Ellen Linder met with Inspector John T. O'Shea and 
Assistant District Attorney Robert Podesta in the latter's office in 
the Hall of Justice. Podesta, one of the rising young attorneys in 
the DA's office, was not related to Inspector Podesta, of Homicide, 
who was then working the Dancik killing. 

"Miss Linder, as you know," said Podesta, "the man who as- 
saulted you, Jesse Lee Cooks, has been in custody for the past six 
weeks on a homicide charge. Through his attorney, he has tenta- 
tively agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder if we will agree 
not to prosecute him on the four charges placed against him for the 
incident in which you were involved. Those charges are kidnap- 
ping, rape, oral copulation, and aggravated assault. We'd like to 
know if you would agree to this." 

"I'm not sure," Ellen Linder said hesitantly. "Are you saying 
that this man won't be punished at all for what he did to me?" 

"Not exactly," said Inspector O'Shea. "He'll receive the same 
amount of punishment no matter how many charges there are 
against him. The only difference is that this way we'll get him back 
into prison faster, and it'll cost the taxpayers less to do it." 


Clark Howard 

Ellen studied O'Shea thoughtfully. He was the Sex Detail officer 
who had investigated her case. A week after her assault, he had 
been watching television and had seen Jesse Lee Cooks being put 
into a radio car at the scene of the Frances Rose killing. The de- 
scription Ellen had given him of her attacker had come at once to 
the surface of his mind. On a hunch, he had gone downtown at 
once and secured photographs of Cooks. Ellen had identified them 
the same night. 

Now she was being asked not to prosecute Cooks for what he 
had done to her. Just let all those hours of terror and anger pass 
into the forgotten, as if they never happened. 

"Let me explain it this way, Miss Linder," saidPodesta. "Since 
there is no longer a death penalty in California, the most severe 
sentence Cooks can receive for any crime is life imprisonment. 
Since he is a twice-convicted felon who would be pleading guilty to 
first-degree murder, there is no question that he will get exactly 
that. Now, even if we tried him on the four charges stemming from 
your assault, he would still get the same sentence — life." 

"Do you think you could convict him for the things that he did to 
me?" Ellen asked. 

"In my opinion, definitely," Podesta said. "I certainly don't 
want to mislead you in that respect. The chances of a successful 
conviction on our part are very high. But again I have to point out 
that even with a conviction — a conviction on all charges — the court 
will still merge the sentence with that given for the murder 

Ellen Linder nodded slowly. "So it really doesn't matter what he 
did to me?" 

"In a way, no," said O'Shea. "Not as far as punishment goes. 
Not after what he did to Frances Rose." 

Ellen Linder thought it over. 

She finally agreed to it. 

"But only on condition that his guilty plea is accepted," she 
specified. "Only on condition that he goes to prison for the rest of 
his life." 

"There's no question that he will receive a life sentence," 
Podesta assured her. 

When Ellen Linder left Podesta' s office that day, she felt 



satisfied that justice had been done. Although it did not seem quite 
right that, after what she had gone through, it should all be sum- 
marily dismissed like that — as if it never happened; and it did not 
seem altogether just that even though Cooks was going to receive 
the maximum sentence allowable, none of it would be for what he 
had done to her; she nevertheless resigned herself to the fact that 
none of it really mattered, not as long as Cooks would spend the 
rest of his life in prison. 

What she did not realize was that in California there was no such 
thing as a firm life sentence. Sentences in California — even sup- 
posed life sentences — tend to be quite flexible. California had a bad 
habit of letting its convicted killers out to kill again. 

Arthur Agnos was a pleasant-looking man of thirty-five, clean- 
cut, well-groomed, a Greek- American of ambition, intelligence, 
and very definite upward mobility. He was employed as a consul- 
tant — read "troubleshooter" — to the California State Legislature's 
Joint Commission on Aging. A liberal, he was sincerely dedicated 
to working with senior citizens, blacks, low-income familie.s, in 
any blighted or needy area in which he felt he could serve. He was 
a doer rather than a talker. 

On the evening of Thursday, December 13, 1973, he left his 
home at 637 Connecticut Street and drove in his Volkswagen a 
short distance to the 900 block on Wisconsin Street. He was to at- 
tend a meeting there of residents of a public housing development. 
The topic of discussion was to be the necessity of having a new 
health clinic to serve the area. Agnos was strongly in favor of such 
a clinic. As he drove toward the meeting place, he developed in his 
mind as many reasons as he could think of to support that position. 

The time was 7:00 p.m. 

Skullcap and Rims started prowling at eight o'clock. In the bor- 
rowed Cadillac again, they drove south on the Bayshore Freeway. 

Rims was worried because Judo was not with them. He still had 
Judo's gun. "Maybe it don't be right for us to use his gun when he 
don't be along," Rims fretted. 

"Don't matter whether he's here or not," Skullcap said. "And it 
don't matter who the gun belong to, long as he's a brother." 


Clark Howard 

"Yeah, but what if we sting with it, then when he find out, he be 

"Let him," Skullcap replied with easy confidence. "Nothing he 
can do about it." 

"He tough," Rims reminded his friend. "He know all that judo 

"Shit is right," Skullcap said derisively. "That's about all it is: a 
lot of shit. Man, I can take him, and I don't know none of that 

"You can take him?" 

"Bet your sweet ass I can, baby. You probably can too. That 
motherfucker ain't half as bad as he's got people thinking he is." 

"I don't think I want to fuck with him," Rims decided. 

"Don't nobody want to fuck with him. The dude's a brother, 
whether anybody likes him or not. He just been slow developing 
the kind of heart a true Death Angel needs. Which means we got to 
help him along when we can. Meanwhile, he got no complaint if 
you use his piece to develop your own heart. So don't sweat about 
it, hear?" 

Rims sighed a heavy sigh and drummed the thick fingers of one 
hand on his knee. He would try to take his friend's advice. Clearly, 
he did not expect it to be easy. 

Skullcap got off the freeway at Army Street and doubled back, 
driving up Kansas Street toward the Potrero Hill district. 

Art Agnos left the Potrero Hill health committee meeting with a 
good feeling. The session had been very friendly and, in his estima- 
tion, productive. He had even been asked to run for a position on 
the board of directors; the people liked him that well. 

As he walked toward his car, two women came after him and 
caught up with him under a streetlight. They were residents whom 
he had seen at the meeting; both were named Susoeff and they 
lived in the next block. Agnos, smiling as he usually did, stopped to 
talk with them. 

None of them paid any attention to the black Cadillac as it drove 
slowly by and pulled to the curb near the corner. 

Skullcap got out and walked back toward where the white man 
and two white women were talking. His mind raced as he planned 



what to do. He had a chance now to do three stings at once — two of 
them women. That would put him well in the lead for the next 
Death Angel wings. But he had to do it just right. The women were 
facing him as he walked toward them; they had already glanced up 
and noticed him. The man's back was to him, and the man had not 
turned around, probably did not even know he was coming. The 
thing to do was get the man first, in the back, before he knew what 
was happening. Then pick off the two women. Quick and easy. 

Nothing to it, he told himself. He slipped Judo's gun from his 
pocket and held it next to his thigh. Even as he walked toward pre- 
meditated murder victims, he still had the slight strut. Going to kill 
the blue-eyed motherfuckers, he thought. 

Skullcap walked directly up to Art Agnos and shot him twice in 
the back. 

Agnos felt as if someone had punched him. He whirled around to 
face his assailant. What he saw was a handsome black man who 
was staring blankly at him. The man did not blink. His expression 
carried no sneer, nothing at all ugly. He appeared to Agnos to be in 
some kind of state. 

Skullcap froze where he stood. Something was wrong: the white 
devil was not falling. Instead, he had turned around and was star- 
ing back at him — 

What the fuck was this? 

Skullcap felt his bowels churn. Cold sweat popped out along the 
length of his spine. The two white women were backing away; they 
appeared to be shrieking, but Skullcap heard no sounds coming 
from them: his ears suddenly seemed blocked. The smell of burned 
nitrate from the two bullets he had fired was heavy in his nostrils. 
Everything around him started to become hazy, cloudy, slow: like 
a dream sequence in a movie. 

And still the motherfucker stood there! Two bullets in him and he 
would not fall down. Staring at him — 

A ball of fear rose in Skullcap's chest. He almost threw the gun 
away from him, as he would a disgusting bug that had landed in his 
hand. But he was too frightened even for that. 

With a whimper, he turned and ran. 

Art Agnos still did not fall. Under his coat, the back of his shirt 
was slowly being saturated by a widening spot of blood. The dull, 


Clark Howard 

punchlike feeling was becoming a burning pain. But he stayed on 
his feet. Presently he felt supporting hands take hold of his arms. 
What seemed like a faraway voice was urging, "Bring him over 
here! Get him inside!" 

He was half led, half helped, across the street and into some- 
one's house. It was a relief to feel carpet under his feet; at least 
now if he fell it would not be on concrete. 

And fall he finally did. The people helping him felt his legs go out 
under him. His body went limp. Gently they laid him on the living 
room floor while someone called the police and an ambulance. 
Meanwhile, the members of the black family whose home he was 
in did what they could to make him comfortable. 

In the Cadillac, Skullcap and Rims were on the Bayshore Free- 
way again, speeding north. Rims was driving this time. Skullcap sat 
beside him, talking out loud, but more to himself than to Rims. 

"Motherfucker stood there! Wouldn't fall! Stood there looking 
at me! Looking at my face! White motherfucking devil!" 

"Manjustcalmdownnow," Rims said excitedly, running his 
words together in a nervous string. He gripped the steering wheel 
almost desperately. As he drove, he threw quick glances at Skull- 
cap. "Don'tgetsouptightonmeman!" he said. There was a plea in 
his voice. Rims needed a calming influence, not a strung-out mad- 

"Never saw nothing like it," Skullcap said, ignoring Rims as if 
he had not spoken, was not nervous, did not need his composure to 
drive the big, unfamiliar car. "Two slugs and the motherfucker did 
hot even go down. " Furiously he slammed a fist into the palm of 
his hand. It made a loud noise — smack! — startling Rims. "And I 
missed getting those two women!" Skullcap suddenly remem- 
bered. "Motherfucker!" 

"Don'tbeworryingnoneaboutit," Rims spurted like a gush of 
steam . ' 'Thatsuckergonnadie . Ikno whegonnadie . Youstillgon- 
nagetonestingany way s. ' ' 

"What make you so sure?" Skullcap asked. "How you know he 
gonna die?" 

"Shitman," said Rims. Then his voice slowed down. "I know 
that man hasgofs to die. Man don't live with two bullets in him." 



Skullcap thought about it. Rims was right; somebody shot twice 
in the back at close range like that had to die. The sucker must 
have suffered some kind of delayed reaction; maybe he died stand- 
ing up, then fell. At any rate, Rims had a point: Skullcap would still 
get credit for one sting. That was not as impressive as three, but it 
was better than nothing. He reached over and slapped Rims fondly 
on the knee. 

"You right, brother. I'm going to calm down. No sense getting 
uptight. We out here to just take care of business. I got one for to- 
night; now we got to go find one for you." Skullcap looked at the 
next freeway sign: Oak Street. "Get off at the next ramp," he said. 

In an apartment at 651 Scott Street, three blocks north of Oak, 
Marietta DiGirolamo was getting ready to go out. She had been 
waiting all evening for her boyfriend and sometimes roommate, 
Paul Wilson; now it was past nine o'clock and she was tired of 
waiting. She was going to take a walk, maybe get a drink. 

Marietta DiGirolamo was thirty-one years old. Five feet one inch 
tall, she bordered on fleshiness at 125 pounds. But her figure was 
nicely proportioned and she had good breasts. Her hair was thick 
and dark, falling well below her shoulders in back. In profile, she 
looked very much like the actress Ellen Burstyn. 

At her bathroom mirror, Marietta applied a touch of coloring to 
her already dark eyebrows and leaned forward closely to examine 
the corners of her upper lip. For years she had fought an on-again, 
off-again battle with dark lip hair, which she blamed on her Medi- 
terranean heritage; but lately she had been more conscientious 
about keeping it bleached or removed. That was because of her 
boyfriend, Paul Wilson. Paul liked her face completely clear of all 
dark hair. He wanted her as smooth and creamy as possible. 

Idly Marietta wondered if all black men were like that about 
white women. 

Back in the Potrero Hill area, Art Agnos had been removed by 
ambulance and taken to Mission Emergency Hospital. Police offi- 
cers Michael Thompson and Theodore Schlink III, using flash- 
lights, were searching the sidewalk, gutter, and street where the 
victim had been shot. 


Clark Howard 

"Here's one," said Schlink, bending to pick up a spent shell cas- 
ing. "Matter of fact, here's fwo," he amended, seeing a second 
one as he reached for the first. 

"And here's one of the slugs," said Thompson. He retrieved a 
spent copper bullet from the curb. 

The two officers continued their search for a few minutes, then 
gave it up. "The other one must still be in him," Schlink guessed. 

"Let's get over to Mission and see if he's conscious yet," sug- 
gested Thompson. 

The two officers drove to the emergency hospital. When they got 
there, however, they were not permitted to interview Agnos. He 
had just been wheeled out of the X-ray lab and was being prepped 
for surgery. 

Marietta DiGirolamo walked three blocks south from her apart- 
ment, then turned on Haight Street and walked over to Divisadero, 
thinking she might find her boyfriend in one of the neighborhood 
bars. As she walked, she turned up the collar of her coat against a 
chill breeze coming in off the bay. 

The black Cadillac was cruising south on Divisadero when Skull- 
cap spotted her. "There's a nice female white devil for you, broth- 
er," he said. "Pull over." 

Rims pulled to the curb and Skullcap motioned for him to get 
out. He slipped Judo's gun to the moonfaced black. 

"Go get her, baby," he said, sliding into the driver's seat. "I'll 
pull right around the corner and keep the engine running." 

"I'll be get her," Rims said determinedly. "Fucking white bitch 
gonna die." 

Rims crossed the street and walked toward Marietta DiGirola- 
mo. She stopped and looked in a shop window, then she started to- 
ward him again. He mentally measured her pace. At the speed they 
were both walking, they would meet near the middle of the block. 
Or so he thought. Then Marietta fooled him. Abruptly she turned 
and started back in the direction from which she had come. 

Rims stopped and his mouth dropped open. He blinked rapidly 
several times. What the fuck she doing? he asked himself. For a 
brief moment, his entire plan was disrupted by the white woman's 
sudden change of direction. So slowly did Rims respond to this sur- 



prise turn of events that he almost aborted. He actually took a ten- 
tative step back toward where the car had been, then he saw Skull- 
cap drive past on his way to the corner. Quickly he hurried after 
the woman. 

Marietta stopped again to look in the same store window. It was 
a candle shop; the window was filled not only with decorative can- 
dles but also displays of incense, teas, herbs, and lotions. After 
looking in the window a second time, Marietta again reversed her 
course and resumed walking back toward Rims. You white evil 
bitch! Rims thought. He was infuriated at the way she kept chang- 
ing direction. In his simple mind, he took it as something she was 
doing purposely to distract and confuse him. 

They were almost upon one another now: the unsuspecting white 
woman, drawing her collar closed against the evening air; the bull- 
bodied young black, eyes now wide and unblinking behind his 
round, gold glasses. They moved abreast of each other, as if to 
pass — 

Rims suddenly shoved her into the doorway of a barbershop. He 
stepped in after her and raised the gun. Her face flashed anger at 
being shoved. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" she 

Rims shot her twice in the chest. Her body jerked with the im- 
pact of each bullet. When the second one hit her, she spun around, 
facing the door. Rims fired again, shooting her once in the back. 

Marietta started to fall back out of the doorway. 

Rims turned and ran down to the corner. 

William Bryan, in the city from Sonoma, fifty-five miles north, 
was stopped for the light at Haight and Divisadero. He saw Rims 
and Marietta in the doorway, saw Rims fire the shots and saw Mar- 
ietta lurch backward out of the doorway and fall to the sidewalk. 
Rims ran around the corner. A municipal minibus started along the 
street in the same direction he was running. Bryan saw several peo- 
ple tentatively approach the fallen victim, so he quickly decided to 
follow the man who had shot her. As soon as the light changed, he 
made a left turn and pulled as close to the rear of the minibus as he 
could. He edged out over the center line to look past it. By that 
time, the running black man had disappeared. 


Clark Howard 

The minibus driver must have seen where he went, Bryan 
thought. Tooling his car around, he caught up with the bus. He 
yelled over at the driver. 

"Did you see where that guy went?" 

"What guy?" asked the driver. 

"The guy that was running! He shot a woman back there!" 

The driver shrugged. "I didn't see no guy running." 

Didn't see no guy running? He must drive that bus with his eyes 

"Listen," said Bryan, "a woman was just shot back there. Will 
you use your radio to call the police?" 

The driver shook his head. "There are a lot of pay phones 
around; you'll have to use one of them." He closed the door of the 
bus and drove away. 

William Bryan stared after him incredulously. 

Another person who saw Rims shoot Marietta DiGirolamo was 
Gerald Bjork. On his way home from the Gold Cane cocktail 
lounge where he had been drinking beer with a friend, he was walk- 
ing along Haight Street and had just turned the corner to go down 
Divisadero when he heard the first shot. He whirled around just in 
time to see Rims fire the second shot. Then he watched, stunned, 
as the third shot was fired and the woman fell out of the doorway 
and pitched backward to the sidewalk. 

Bjork watched Rims dash around the corner and run down 
Haight. He saw the minibus proceed along Haight, saw William 
Bryan's car make a left turn and pull up behind it. He could see the 
black man running for perhaps a hundred feet, then Bjork lost sight 
of him. 

Bjork started to cross the street to where the victim was, but 
changed his mind. This was not his business. 

He walked on home instead. 

As soon as Officers Lloyd Ritter and Frank Peda arrived at the 
scene, they summoned a Code Three ambulance and had Marietta 
DiGirolamo transported to Mission Emergency Hospital. She was 
unconscious during the entire trip. 

After the victim was taken away, the usual routine followed. A 



lieutenant was called to supervise the crime scene; he was Lieuten- 
ant Joseph Lordan, platoon commander of Park Station. The 
Crime Lab was notified; Inspector Moses responded to the scene. 
The Photo Lab: Inspector Sleadd. Homicide: Inspectors Podesta 
and Schneider. 

Three spent cartridge casings were found on the sidewalk and 
turned over to Moses. From a small purple cloth purse Marietta 
had been carrying, her identification and address were determined. 

"Get Sergeant Rivas out here to go with you to the victim's ad- 
dress," Lieutenant Lordan instructed Ritter and Peda. 

The officers, along with Rivas, drove to the Scott Street address 
that Marietta had left barely an hour earlier. No one answered the 
door to her apartment, number three. They tried number four. A 
black woman named Stella Burton came out and talked with them. 
She told them about Marietta's black boyfriend, Paul Wilson, de- 
scribing him as six two, 180 pounds, short hair, about thirty-five. 
The officers exchanged glances. William Bryan and other witnesses 
had described the assailant as six feet to six two, medium build, 
about thirty years old, wearing a cap. Ritter and Peda almost read 
each other's thoughts: Maybe we lucked out on this one. 

Since the door to apartment three was open, the officers entered 
to look for the name of a next of kin or friend. They did not find a 
name, but they did find six unpaid traffic warrants issued to Paul 

"Leave them there," Rivas said. "We'll let the morning shift 
come back and get him." 

At Mission Emergency Hospital, Marietta DiGirolamo was 
quickly wheeled inside and examined by Dr. Noyes of the night 
staff. He checked her thoroughly for vital signs. There were none. 

"Dead on arrival," he told the ambulance steward. 

In another section of the hospital, Arthur Agnos was in a surgical 
field being operated on by a team of doctors. His spleen had al- 
ready been removed and the surgeons were now attempting to re- 
pair his punctured kidney. They would then turn to his collapsed 

At the end of Day Fifty-five, there were eight victims. 


Clark Howard 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face horribly scarred. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death — and her 
ordeal not even formally charged to the person who did them to 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot behind 
the right ear. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, his internal organs — lungs, spleen, kidney — torn 
apart by two bullets in the back. 

And Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to 
death as she walked down the street. 


Day 62 

In the Potrero Hill district, fourteen black men were involved in 
a different kind of meeting. 

It was exactly one week after the shooting of Arthur Agnos. The 
fourteen men were residents of the area. Some were young, some 
old, some working, some retired or unemployed, some had fami- 
lies, a few did not. Besides being black and living in the same 
neighborhood, they had one other thing in common: they were all 

"Just when we're starting to get something positive going in this 
area," one of the older men said, "some low-life nigger has to 
come down here and shoot a white man." 

"He wasn't white, he was Greek," a younger man said. It got a 
few laughs, but drew only rancor from the older man. 

"We're not here to make jokes, lad," he said sternly. "We're 
here to see if we can offset what happened, if we can make up for it 
in some way so that any help we might have received in support of 
our neighborhood clinic will not be withheld because we've been 
made to look like we belong in the jungle. Does anyone have any 

"Yeah, I've got one," another of the younger men said, with ob- 


Clark Howard 

vious bitterness. "Let's ask for the clinic on the basis of neighbor- 
hood need, and not worry about some black motherfucker who 
comes down here and shoots somebody. We got no control over 

"Well, perhaps we should get control then," his senior said. 
"Here's a liberal white man who can be of great help to the better- 
ment of this area for black and white. Not only can he help, but he 
wants to help. He has a genuine, sincere desire to help minori- 
ties — whether they be minorities of color, like us; minorities of 
age, like our juveniles and our senior citizens; or any other de- 
prived group needing help. So what happens? He comes to one of 
our meetings and promptly gets shot by some wild-assed nigger 
with a Saturday night special." 

"That kind of stuff is the police's business, not ours," said 
another of the men. 

"Right on! We're not responsible for crime in the goddamned 
streets!" said another. 

"We are when they're our streets," the older man said. "And 
when our people are committing the crimes." 

"Hey, man, don't start with that 'our people' shit. Just because 
they're black don't make them my people. I don't have nothing in 
common with junkies, pimps, welfare cheats, Black Muslims, or 
any other such shit. I work, I support my family, I don't ask for 
nothing, and I don't give nothing." 

"You still can't paint your face white, man. And every time a 
nigger does something violent to a white, you gonna pay for it — 
one way or another." 

"I'll be goddamned if that's so!" 

"And I'll be goddamned if it isn't. Let me ask you a question. 
Has anything been done about the neighborhood health clinic since 
last week's meeting? Has any of the action we proposed been car- 
ried out? Anything at all?" The speaker looked around the room, 
his eyes flicking from face to face. No one answered him. "No, it 
hasn't," he answered himself. "Nothing has been done — and noth- 
ing will be done. The meeting might as well have not been held, be- 
cause the second that insane nigger pulled the trigger, everything 
we had accomplished for us and for our neighborhood up to that 
point went into limbo." 



"Well, what the fuck do you want us to do about it, man? Patrol 
the streets with our own Saturday night specials?" 

"I wish to Christ we could. But it would never be permitted. 
Still, we have to do something. We must show our whites — the 
whites that we have to live and work with — that we as blacks are 
not to be classed with these street killers." 

"Do you have any suggestions?" 

"I have one. I propose that we form a bodyguard detail, and that 
on the night of our meetings we assign blacks to protect the whites 
that attend." 

"Shit, man, that would just be wasted effort," another of the 
older men said. "Chances are, whoever shot Art Agnos won't ever 
come back around here again." 

"That doesn't matter. Point is, it would look good. And the 
whites — our whites — would automatically disassociate us from any 
of the street violence." 

"Won't it seem kind of peculiar to the other blacks?" a man in 
the corner asked. "Like maybe we're siding with white against 

"To a few I'm sure it will. But eventually they'll realize that it's 
for the good of the neighborhood as a whole — black and white." 
He looked around for more comments. There were none. "Shall 
we take a vote on it?" 

There was a show of hands. It was unanimous: blacks would 
guard whites in the Potrero Hill district. 

"Maybe it won't be for long," said one of the men after the 
meeting. "Maybe the cops will catch the crazy motherfuckers that 
did it." 

The police, as usual, were trying. Methodically, relentlessly, 
they had been following up every lead they had for a week. 

At two o'clock in the morning following Marietta DiGirolamo's 
death, Sergeant Roger Maher and Officer Ronald Morehen had her 
apartment building staked out waiting for her black boyfriend, Paul 
Wilson, to show up. He arrived shortly after two. They followed 
him into the lobby and caught up with him at the top of the stairs. 
They were cautious; his description was too close to the killer's for 
comfort. As they approached him, he heard them and turned. 


Clark Howard 

"I'm E. D. Moore," he said. "I understand the police are look- 
ing for me." 

"Mr. Moore," said Sergeant Maher, "do you also use the name 
Paul Wilson?" 

"Yes, I do. I understand that my wife has been shot." 

"A Marietta DiGirolamo has been shot, Mr. Wilson. We'd like 
you to come down to Park Station with us regarding that matter." 

"Am I under arrest?" 

"No, sir, not at this time. But we are going to request that you 
allow us to search your person for weapons only, nothing else." 

Moore permitted a quick pat-down with no objection. Then 
Maher and Morehen escorted him to Park Station. They turned him 
over to Schneider and Podesta of Homicide. The two homicide in- 
spectors questioned him at length. Upon verification of what he 
told them, they satisfied themselves that he was not the killer. They 
subsequently turned him back over to the uniformed officers. 

"You are under arrest now, Mr. Moore — or Mr. Wilson, which- 
ever is correct. There are twelve outstanding traffic warrants 
against you." 

Marietta DiGirolamo's boyfriend was booked and held in lieu of 
more than $300 in fines. 

Mitch Luksich was at his microscope again, this time with six 
new specimens to examine: the three spent shell casings found at 
the scene of the Marietta DiGirolamo killing, and the single spent 
slug and two shell casings picked up where Art Agnos had been 

As Luksich worked, he occasionally made an audible but unin- 
telligible sound: a low, modified grunt, or a not-quite-silent intake 
of breath. Each time he did so, Gus Coreris and John Fotinos, 
waiting just outside his cubicle, looked over expectantly, thinking 
that he might be ready to speak. When he continued to work with- 
out even looking at them, they exchanged impatient glances and re- 
sumed their vigil. Coreris had a strained look on his face that said, 
Goddamn it, why does everything take so long? Fotinos, just as im- 
patient but showing it far less, simply shook his head once, then 
tried to think of something else. Something pleasant. Like his 
youngest daughter, Teresa, now eleven, who had come along after 



he and Barbara thought they had all the family they would ever 
have. Three fine kids: Elizabeth, thirteen; Christine, eleven; An- 
thony eight — then surprise! Another one. Twelve more years of pa- 
rochial school tuition that he had not planned on. But the first time 
he had looked at the new baby, he had known — as he had with the 
others — that she would be worth it. In the Fotinos household, fam- 
ily pride and love were not measured monetarily. 

In the cubicle, Luksich continued to work. He matched the ejec- 
tor marks on each case. Not satisfied with just that, he compared a 
series of fine, very minute machining cut impressions made by the 
firing pin. Also the amount of "bulging" or expansion common to 
each of the cases, and a slight protrusion of the primer out of its 
pocket on each one — both of which characteristics indicated to 
Luksich's ultratrained eye that there was excessive headspace in 
the pistol. In layman's language, this meant that the breech of the 
weapon was just a touch larger than it needed to be for the size am- 
munition for which it was designed. A shade more quality control 
should have been present in the manufacturing stage, Luksich 

When Luksich finally sat back from the microscope, he used a 
thumb and forefinger to smooth down the mustache that curved 
around the corners of his mouth. "Same gun, gentlemen," he an- 

Fotinos and Coreris appeared in the doorway as if by magic. 

"All four?" asked Fotinos, as if it were too good to be true. 

"All four," Luksich confirmed. "Erakat, Dancik, DiGirolamo, 
and Agnos. Same gun." 

"I'll be goddamned," said Coreris. He looked hard at his part- 
ner. "Young, well-groomed, nice-looking blacks." 

"Muslims, like I told you," said Fotinos. 

"All using the same gun," Luksich interjected. 

"Shooting only white victims," said Coreris. 

The three men all looked at each other. A heavy silence fell over 
them for a moment. Finally Luksich stood up, towering over the 
two detectives. 

"I've got a feeling it's going to be a long winter, gentlemen," he 
said quietly. 


Clark Howard 

On the advice of a friend, Gerald Bjork, who had witnessed the 
killing of Marietta DiGirolamo, called the police and told them 
about it. He was interviewed and then taken to headquarters where 
he went through a series of mug shots of blacks who had a police 
record and fit the description of the DiGirolamo killer. After going 
through numerous photos, Bjork selected one which he said he felt 
was the man he had seen do the shooting. 

The man whose photo Bjork selected was one Jasper Childs.* 
He was known to be a practicing Black Muslim and was employed 
at the Black Self Help Moving and Storage Company. 

Two days after identifying Childs, Gerald Bjork was transported 
in a surveillance vehicle to a parking place near Black Self Help. 
The vehicle was a camper with curtained windows. Under the di- 
rection of homicide inspectors, Bjork used binoculars to observe 
the activities of Black Self Help employees. Among the individuals 
observed by Bjork was the same Jasper Childs whom he had 
identified by photograph. Bjork saw Childs come and go several 
times during the course of the surveillance. Each time he seemed 
to become less and less certain that Childs was positively the man 
he had seen kill Marietta DiGirolamo. Finally, because the detec- 
tives could not act on anything less than a 100 percent identifica- 
tion, the surveillance was terminated. 

Gerald Bjork observed numerous employees of Black Self Help 
during the surveillance. He identified none of them positively. 

Four of the men who worked for Black Self Help were visibly 
upset on the afternoon of December 14, 1973. They had just re- 
ceived word that earlier that same day, Jesse Lee Cooks had been 
sentenced to life in prison. They had been very upset when Jesse 
had been caught; now they were doubly upset because they had 
just learned that Cooks had pled guilty to first-degree murder. 

"Dumb son of a bitch," said J. C. "He knows he wasn't ever sup- 
posed to plead guilty." 

"That's right, he wasn't!" Manuel Moore said, agitated. "The 
laws of the mosque don't be allow that." 

"He wasn't being tried by the laws of the mosque," Anthony 

♦This person's name has been changed because he was never positively identified 
by the witness. 



Harris said dryly. Sometimes he had the feeling that Manuel was 
not playing with a full deck. 

"It don't matter what law they tried him under," Larry Green 
said. "He's still bound to obey the laws of the mosque. And those 
laws say don't never admit no guilt in the white man's court." 

"Right on," said J.C. 

"What the hell was he supposed to do?" Anthony asked impa- 
tiently. "I mean, man, they caught him with the fucking gun stick- 
ing in his belt. It wasn't exactly circumstantial evidence." 

The other three looked at him with flat, fixed stares that bordered 
on hostility. Even Larry, who had been his "little brother" friend 
since the day Anthony got out of San Quentin, seemed now to be 
somehow looking at him through different eyes. There were times 
when he felt like a stranger among them. And that disturbed him — 
because if he could not feel accepted with these men who were his 
own color, his own faith, then where on Allah's earth could he be 
at home? 

"Sometimes I wonder about you, man," J.C. said in a glacial 
voice. The cool, handsome black was studying Anthony. His pierc- 
ing eyes looked as if they wanted to strip off Anthony's skin and 
see right into the pit of him, actually examine his core. "I really 
wonder, man," he repeated. 

"Well, don't sweat none about it, sport," Anthony said evenly. 
"I still got a right to my own opinion. Ain't no motherfucker going 
to tell me what to think." There, it was said. If J.C. wanted to call 
him out, the door was open. It seemed to Anthony that Simon had 
been looking to pick a fight with him for a long time. Now he had 
his chance. And if Mr. Cool took it, Anthony was going to break 
his fucking back. 

But J.C. did not take the bait. He merely stared Anthony down: 
riveted his eyes to Anthony's, until finally Anthony just said, 
"Shit," and looked away. Kid stuff, he thought. Yet he could not 
help wondering why J.C. had not accepted the challenge. Instinc- 
tively he knew that J.C. was not afraid of him. J.C. was not afraid 
of anything. If Jesse Lee Cooks had been the most dangerous man 
Anthony had ever met, then certainly J.C. Simon was the most 

Whatever the reason, J.C. and Anthony, each firmly believing he 


Clark Howard 

could take the other, did not physically clash that night. But each 
felt inside that it was only a matter of time. 

"I'm tired of being alone," Anthony told Debbie that night. "I 
need to be with someone." 

"You are with someone, sugar," she told him. "You're with me, 
almost every night." 

"I don't mean just be with for a few hours. I mean have some- 
body to stay with, to be close to all the time, when I'm — " His 
voice trailed off. 

"When you're what, sugar?" 

Anthony swallowed and looked away. They were sitting on the 
couch in her apartment. Gently she took his chin and pulled his 
head around to face her. 

"When you're what, sugar?" she asked again. 

"When I'm scared," he said quietly. 

Debbie drew his face down to her bosom and held it there. She 
rocked him a little and stroked his forehead. At that moment, she 
was very much in love with Anthony Harris. 

"Are you saying that you want to move in with me, Anthony?" 
she asked. 

"I'd like to," he said. As he spoke, his lips moved against her 

"You're still married to Carolyn, aren't you?" 

"Yes." And, he thought, as far as he knew, he was not divorced 
from his first, white, wife. Unless she had divorced him without his 
knowledge. "That thing with Carolyn wasn't really a marriage, you 
know that," he said. "I only was with her a couple of weeks." 

"It's still a true marriage," Debbie countered. "You did ex- 
change vows." 

Anthony sighed a heavy, soul-weary sigh. "I'm sorry I got into 
that. I don't know why I did it. I was just out of prison and didn't 
have nobody; I guess I was lonesome to have somebody and some- 
place to call mine." He shook his head against her breast. "Shit, I 
can't never seem to do nothing right." 

She held his head a little tighter and rocked him a bit more, as 
she would do to soothe a child of its hurt. That's what Anthony 
was, really, in many ways: a child. Lost. Uncertain. Tired and 
wanting to sleep. 



"There, there, sugar," she cooed. "Everything's going to be all 
right. You can move in and stay with me if you want to. I'll take 
good care of you. You can be my sugar baby, all right?" 

With his face still against her breast, Anthony nodded. 

Maybe with her he could straighten out everything that was so 
fucked up, he thought. 

Before it was too late. 

In the apartment on Grove Street, J. C. Simon's wife was pack- 
ing to go back to Texas. J. C. prowled the room, trying to talk her 
out of it. 

"You're just not used to San Francisco yet, baby," he said. 
"Give yourself a little more time. It's a fine city; pretty soon you'll 
love it just like I do." 

"It's not the city," said Pat. "You know it's not the city." 

"What is it, then?" he asked. "Is it the apartment? You want to 
move to a different place?" 

"It's not the apartment, J. C." Pat kept her voice nicely under 
control. She did not want to get into another of those arguments 
that neither of them ever won. 

"Well, what is it then?" J. C. asked in agitation. "What do you 
want out of me?" 

"I don't want anything out of you, J. C. Not anything at all." 
Methodically, she continued packing, folding Crissy's clothes and 
putting them on top of her own. 

J. C. paced. He shoved his hands into his pockets. He sighed 
dramatically. Pat ignored him. She had seen him act before. Finally 
J. C. glanced into the other room and saw Crissy playing on the 

"It's not fair for you to take that baby away from her daddy and 
not even give me a reason," he accused. 

Pat faced him directly. "Now you listen to me, J. C. Simon," 
she said with an edge. "If you cared as much about that baby as 
you care about all your friends, you'd be coming back to Houston 
with us. Back where you belong. Instead of staying up here where 
you're going to find nothing but grief. " 

J. C. smiled his tolerant smile. "What you talking about, grief?" 
He chose to ignore the comment about his friends. That was an old 
thorn between them, and it stuck both ways. 


Clark Howard 

"You know what I mean," Pat said. Her pretty young face 
turned sad. "This isn't the place for you, J. C. These aren't your 
kind of people. If you stay up here, you'll be all alone. I know you 
think you've got a lot of friends, and I know you think they all care 
about you; but they don't, J. C. They don't at all. You'll find that 
out someday. When you get into bad trouble and need them, they 
won't be nowhere around." 

"You're talking scare talk," J. C. said. "You're talking like you 
got a Caucasian mentality, woman. ' ' 

Pat shook her head. Caucasian mentality. How often lately had 
he come up with that phrase, or one just like it? She used to think 
that he was simply verbalizing, that he did not really know what he 
was saying. It was the mosque speaking; something he had picked 
up in a pamphlet. But lately she was not too sure. Lately he seemed 
more and more to know what he was saying. And, even more 
frightening to her, to believe it. 

"You just won't listen, will you?" she said. "Won't listen to 
anyone. You just think you know it all." 

J.C. stared at her without responding. His gaze was flat, pene- 
trating. Unmoving. And unmoved. 

Sighing quietly, Pat resumed packing. 

Two nights later, in the Bay View district, Ilario Bertuccio was 
finishing his last chore of the night at the 7-Up bottling plant where 
he worked: he was sweeping down the loading dock with a horse- 
hair push broom. 

Bertuccio was eighty-one years old. A small man — five three, 
135 pounds — he could have retired on his pension and Social Secu- 
rity. But he was a healthy old man, alert and agile, and no one — not 
friend, not relative — could convince him to stay home and take it 
easy. Ilario had worked all his life. He enjoyed work, firmly be- 
lieved that it was healthy. That was why he had the job at 7-Up. It 
did not pay that well, the hours were not very good, the duties cer- 
tainly not challenging. But it was work. 

When he finished sweeping, he returned the horsehair broom to 
the plant's utility closet and washed up in the men's room. He ran a 
pocket comb through his thick white hair and let it fall into place. 
Then he put on his Windbreaker and zipped it up against the night 
coolness. He went into the bottling room, slipped his nightly free 



bottle of 7-Up into a paper bag, and left by the employee door. He 
lived about a mile away, on Goettingen Street on the other side of 
the freeway. It made a nice walk for him every night after work. 

As he headed home, Bertuccio hummed an old Italian folk song 
and with a half-smile thought of the friends and relatives who con- 
stantly advised him to retire. They meant well, he knew, but they 
did not understand him. Work was good for him. It was healthy. 

Ilario Bertuccio had long ago made up his mind that he would 
never quit work. He would work until he died. 

A white Dodge Dart, borrowed from Yellow, turned off the Bay- 
shore Freeway and drove south on San Bruno to Bacon. It turned 
left on Bacon to Bay Shore Boulevard, then doubled back to 
Phelps. It cruised along Phelps. 

Skullcap was at the wheel, scanning the street on the left. Rims 
was in the passenger seat, doing the same on the right. 

"Fucking streets are dead," Skullcap muttered, as much to him- 
self as to Rims. 

"Yeah, dead," Rims echoed. He had Judo's pistol between his 
legs; his fingertips rubbed gently over it, as if he were petting a 
puppy. From time to time he would glance at his friend behind the 
wheel, trying to think of new things to say that might cheer him up. 
For days now, Skullcap had been out of sorts: depressed, irritable, 
edgy. The reason for it, Rims thought, was the white devil who had 
not died. The one that had not even fallen down after Skullcap shot 
him twice in the back. Skullcap was still upset about it; he had not 
received credit for a sting. 

Rims hated to see his new friend upset like that; he kept trying to 
say things that would make him feel better. "We ought to see can 
we get us a couple of sisters when we be through tonight," he said 
now. "We could go over to the mosque to the community hall and 
see could we find a couple." 

"Yeah, maybe," said Skullcap. He said it in hopes of making 
Rims shut up. The last thing he wanted — or needed — just then was 
a woman. They were more fucking trouble than they were worth. 

"You feel better with a new sister," Rims said. "Man always 
feel better with a sister, specially when she be a new one. We find 
one gonna do right for you." 

"Yeah, right," Skullcap said. 


Clark Howard 

But he knew that no sister was going to make him feel better. His 
needs were not that simple. The only thing that was going to purge 
his low-down feeling was to destroy a blue-eyed devil. Destroy one 
of the evil beings that had persecuted his race for so long. Blow the 
life out of a grafted snake, that's what he had to do. 

And preferably a female snake. 

"There one now," said Rims as they approached the intersec- 
tion on Bancroft and Phelps. 

Skullcap looked at the devil Rims was talking about. It was a 
white-haired old man carrying a paper bag under one arm. Prob- 
ably a fucking old white wino, Skullcap thought. 

"You sting him," Skullcap said. "I'll do the next one." 

He would see that the next one was a woman. 

Across the city, in the Lincoln Park district, a twenty-year-old 
college student named Angela Roselli* was attending a Christmas 
party at the apartment of some friends. She had been at the party 
for about an hour and, after three drinks, was beginning to feel 
mellow. Sitting in a corner with several other people, she was shar- 
ing her first joint of the evening with the young man next to her. 

Angela was a pretty girl with very long, very dark hair and a Can- 
dice Bergen mouth complete with an occasional hint of a lisp. Her 
face had a natural glow to it, and outwardly she seemed vibrant and 
full of life. The fact that she cared little about what went on around 
her was betrayed only by her eyes: they had a hollo wness to them 
that reflected a total disinterest in anything difficult, anything re- 
quiring more than token effort, anything physically or mentally 
challenging. People who knew her could not ever remember seeing 
her excited about anything. She was an escapist, a noncontributor; 
if the world had started to sink, she would not have bothered to 
tread water. 

At the party there was a lot of liquor, a lot of pot, perhaps even 
some harder stuff not being shared openly; but Angela stayed away 
from hard drugs, preferring the pleasant mellowness of substances 
she knew she could handle — mostly wine and marijuana. 

The name and identity of this person have been altered at her request. 



"This is good shit," said the young man next to her, passing the 
joint. "Best I've had in a while." 

"Me too," said Angela. She sucked in a deep drag and handed 
the joint back to him. 

Somewhere in the apartment a stereo was playing "O come, all 
ye faithful." 

Skullcap pulled the Dart to the curb and turned off the head- 
lights. In the rearview mirror he could see the little old white man 
approaching the corner where he would cross the street. Skullcap 
looked over at Rims. 

"Sting the devil," he said softly. 

Rims swallowed dryly. His eyes under the round gold frames 
grew wide. An almost idiotic grin spread over his lips. "R-r-right 
on!" he stuttered emphatically. 

With Judo's gun in hand, Rims got out of the car and walked to- 
ward the little white-haired man. As he walked, he held the gun 
close to his thigh, allowing him to swing only one arm, causing him 
to pitch his right shoulder forward to compensate for it, creating an 
overall effect of a sailor trying to use his sea legs on land. 

Walking toward Rims, Ilario Bertuccio probably felt no anxiety 
at all. He liked most people, trusted most people, considered no 
one — acquaintance or stranger — suspect. He had lived his entire 
life that way. At eighty-one, he probably could not have changed 
even if he had wanted to. 

But he would never have a chance to want to. 

When Rims drew abreast of Bertuccio, he raised the pistol and 
started firing. The first bullet entered Bertuccio's right shoulder, hit 
a bone, detoured across his chest, and exited his left armpit. The 
second drilled through his right chest and back. The third did the 
same. The fourth entered his left chest and exited his back. 

Bertuccio fell. In seconds his upper front torso was saturated 
with blood. He died almost instantly. 

Angela Roselli left the Christmas party at nine thirty. She was 
feeling good, very mellow, and it was a fun party, but she had 
grown tired and decided to call it a night. The effects of the drinks 
she had consumed earlier had now worn off; she was still up from 
the pot, but not so much that it would impede her driving. 


Clark Howard 

She got her coat, said good-bye, and left. Her 1965 Ford was 
parked nearby. She got into the car and drove off. 

Fifteen minutes later she was looking for a parking place near 
Grove and Central, a block from her apartment. 

Skullcap and Rims were driving down Grove Street, going home. 
Skullcap was in a worse mood now than he had been earlier. They 
had been driving around for ninety minutes looking for a devil for 
him to sting, and had not found one. Skullcap wanted to sting a 
woman; he refused to settle for a man. They had been unable to 
find a woman out alone in an uncrowded situation; they were either 
with someone or there were too many people around. They had 
seen several good male candidates, but Skullcap would not settle 
for them. 

"It's got to be a woman devil or nothing," he told Rims emphati- 
cally. "I'm tired fucking around. I want my Death Angel wings, 

"Sure, okay, man, okay," Rims replied, not a little fearfully. He 
did not want to mess with Skullcap; the man was too dangerous. 
Besides, Rims liked him and wanted to keep him for a friend. He 
had never had a friend as smart as Skullcap before; just being with 
him made Rims feel smarter. "We just keep trying," he had said 
earlier to placate Skullcap. "We look all night if we has to." 

They had been looking for an hour and a half, and now Skullcap 
was thoroughly irritated and ready to call it all off. "Fuck it," he 
said angrily. "Fuck the Death Angels! I don't need this kind of 

"Don't say that now, man," Rims implored. "You be okay. We 
go out again tomorrow night and find you a woman devil. Why, we 
even find you two! Come on now, man, don't be so pissed. Come 
on. It be all right. Tomorrow night it be all right." 

At that moment they approached the intersection of Grove and 
Central, and Skullcap saw the young white girl looking for a park- 
ing place. 

"Wait a minute," he said, looking up and down the deserted 
street. "Maybe it'll be all right tonight still." 

In a Cadillac borrowed from a friend, Yellow and Judo were 
cruising Grove Street looking for Skullcap and Rims. 



"The motherfucker promised to have my car back by nine," 
Yellow said sullenly. 

Judo grunted derisively. "You be lucky you ever get the sucker 
back," he said. "He done have my piece for over three weeks 
now. Every time I ax him for it, he say he left it at home or some 
other excuse. I'm getting tired of it, man." 

"Wait a minute," Yellow said, peering down Central. "Ain't 
that my car double-parked up there?" 

Judo squinted. "Look like it is." 

Yellow swung into the 600 block of Central. 

Skullcap had got out of the Dart and let Rims take the wheel. He 
had walked in the shadows along the sidewalk, scanning the block, 
while Rims drove along Central and double-parked to wait for him. 
Now, as the young white girl in the '65 Ford negotiated her parking 
place, Skullcap walked over to the Dart and checked with Rims. 

"Everything look okay to you, brother?" 

"Look fine," Rims said, wide-eyed again. 

Skullcap gave the block a final cursory look and started across 
the street. A pair of headlights swung around the corner and came 
toward him. He paused a beat, considered turning back. Then he 
recognized the car. He watched it pull into a driveway at 617 Cen- 
tral, just behind where the white girl had parked. In the light of the 
streetlamp, Skullcap could see that Yellow was driving the Cadil- 
lac, and that Judo was sitting next to him. He smiled inwardly. 
Keep your eyes on me, brothers, he thought. You'll see a star be 

Angela Roselli saw the black man walking toward her. She de- 
cided that he was about to hit on her, try to pick her up, make out 
with her. Either that or he was going to hassle her because she was 
a white girl in a predominantly black neighborhood. She and her 
roommate constantly had to endure dirty looks, muttered com- 
ments, even outright open hostility from the black residents who 
did not appreciate their presence in the neighborhood. They had 
expected it when they moved in, but due to financial and location 
considerations, had moved in anyway. After all, it was a free coun- 
try. They simply rolled with the verbal punches whenever neces- 


Clark Howard 

Angela was preparing to do just that when the black man in the 
white Superfly hat and suit walked up to her. She glanced at him, 
frowned at the zombie look on his face, the fixed, staring eyes as if 
he were in a trance. When he was several feet from her, he raised a 
pistol from next to his leg and began shooting at her. 

Angela was not immediately aware that she was being shot. The 
first two reports sounded like firecrackers exploding. The bullets 
hit her side, her rib cage, her stomach. The third one nicked her 
spine and her legs gave out. She fell. The fourth bullet, aimed at 
her head, missed as she dropped; it shattered the window on the 
driver's side of her car. As she pitched to the ground, she began 

As soon as the girl started screaming, Skullcap turned and ran. 
He wanted to shoot her two or three more times to make certain 
she would die, but her screams frightened him. He hurried over to 
the Dart and got in. Rims stamped the accelerator and the car shot 

"I got her three times, man," Skullcap said anxiously. "You 
think she'll die?" 

"Yeah, brother, three times, she gots to die," said Rims. 

But as the car sped away, both of them could still hear the girl's 

In the Cadillac, Yellow and Judo had watched in morbid fascina- 
tion as Skullcap walked up and shot the girl. Then, as he turned and 
hurried away, they had looked at each other incredulously. 
"Shit, man!" said Judo. "Let's get the fuck out of here!" 
Yellow continued to stare at him, transfixed. Judo punched him 
on the muscle. 

"Come on, man! Move it! Get us the fuck out of here!" 
Finally Yellow responded. He shifted the Cadillac into reverse 
and gunned it backward out of the driveway. The tires screeched 
and as Yellow cut the wheels the body of the car lurched sideways 
on its shocks. Yellow quickly cut the wheels and jammed the gas 
pedal again. The car jerked forward. 

Angela Roselli was facedown in the street next to her parked car, 
trying to raise her gunshot body off the ground. She had stopped 



screaming and managed to get up on her elbows when she became 
aware of the big car backing out of a driveway. She saw two Negro 
faces in the front seat. Then the car turned and its headlights swept 
over her. The car started directly for her. 

My God, they're trying to run over me! 

Exerting all the willpower in her body, Angela threw herself 
sideways and rolled under her parked car to relative safety. 

The Cadillac sped past her and in seconds was gone. 

Back at Bancroft and Phelps, Officers Allen Duncan and Patrick 
White had secured the death scene of Ilario Bertuccio. They had 
recovered four spent .32-caliber shell casings and turned them over 
to a man from the Crime Lab. A Photo Lab man was moving 
around the body shooting flash shots. Captain John McSweeney of 
Operations had arrived to take charge of the crime scene. Inspec- 
tors McKenna, Podesta, and Nelson were there from Homicide. 
All three winced when they heard that the four shell casings were 

A Mission Ambulance Service steward named Van Steen was 
standing near his vehicle, patiently waiting for the police work to 
be completed. Van Steen had already pronounced Bertuccio dead. 
As soon as the picture-taking and evidence-gathering was over, the 
coroner's representative, Schultz, who was over talking to an offi- 
cer, would issue a receipt for the corpse and Van Steen would take 
it to the morgue. Meanwhile, there was nothing to do but wait. And 
think about how cold San Francisco was at night in Decem- 

In another ambulance, Angela Roselli was being rushed to San 
Francisco General. 

"Am I going to die?" she asked the ambulance steward. 

"You'll probably have to have surgery right away," the steward 
answered noncommittally. 

A police officer named Foster was in the ambulance with her. 
"Can you tell me what happened?" he asked. 

She shook her head. Tears ran out of the corners of her eyes and 
down her temples. At first Foster thought she was not going to an- 
swer him, then he heard her say, "A black man walked up to me. 
Without saying a word he started shooting me." 


Clark Howard 

Foster leaned close to the steward. "Is she going to die?" he 
asked quietly. 

The steward shrugged. "Hard to say," he whispered. "She took 
two bullets in the chest, one in the stomach." 

When the ambulance backed up to the emergency door, a resi- 
dent on duty jerked open the ambulance door. "What have you 

"Gunshot wounds, multiple." 

The resident snapped his fingers at two orderlies. "Trauma 
unit!" he ordered. 

As the orderlies moved Angela from the ambulance and into the 
hospital, Officer Foster heard something drop to the floor. He bent 
and retrieved the object. 

It was a .32-caliber bullet that had fallen out of Angela Roselli's 

At the end of Day Sixty-two, there were ten victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot behind 
the right ear. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, surviving after having his lungs, spleen, and kid- 
ney ripped apart by bullets. 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death 
as she walked down the street. 

Ilario Bertuccio, gunned down in the street as he walked home 
from work with a bottle of 7-Up under his arm. 

And Angela Roselli, also shot down in the street as she was re- 
turning home from a Christmas party. 


Day 64 

Judo and Yellow were walking down Franklin Street on their 
way to a loft meeting. Judo was again fuming about his gun, which 
Skullcap still had. 

'This is it tonight, man," he said angrily. "Either he gives me 
back the piece or him and me are gonna go at it. " 

"You better be careful with him, brother," said Yellow. "I 
mean, like I know you know kung fu and all that, but you talking 
about one mean sucker now." 

"Shit, I can take him. I can take him easy." 

Yellow glanced dubiously at him. "Hey, man, can't nobody take 
him easy. I'm telling you, he mean." 

"We'll see how mean he is if he don't have that piece for me," 
Judo promised. 

As they walked along the street, Judo sensed that Yellow was 
up: he was hyper, charged, ready to take on something heavy. 
"You taking anything?" Judo asked suspiciously. 

Yellow looked aghast. "You crazy, man? I don't take nothing. 
I'm a Black Muslim, brother, not some nigger pimp. My spirit 
comes from Allah, not from some shit in my arm." 

"You acting pretty high," Judo said. 


Clark Howard 

"I am high, brother!" Yellow exclaimed. "High with the Word! 
Ready to take up my sword for Allah again!" 

"Listen, brother," Judo said urgently, "you done proved your- 
self a man once already. Don't make no sense for you to do it 
again. Listen, why don't you and me just forget about this Death 
Angels' shit and go on and just practice our religion without no 
more killing? We don't have to be Death Angels, man." 

"The blue-eyed devils must be killed," Yellow said. "The graft- 
ed snakes must be destroyed." 

"They don't have to be destroyed by ms," Judo argued. "Let 
those others do the killings; they're all crazy motherfuckers any- 
way. But we're not crazy, man. You and me, we're all right in the 
head, you know what I mean?" 

"You not talking from the heart, brother," Yellow said. 

"Yeah, I am, man." Judo took Yellow's arm and stopped him. 
"Look, man, you and me, we not like these other dudes, you 
know? We don't need to all the time be killing white folks — " 

"White devils," Yellow corrected. 

"Whatever. But what I'm saying is, I don't think there's any rea- 
son to do any more killing. Either one of us." 

Yellow's eyebrows rose. "Either one of us? The way I see it, 
you hadn't done any yet. 'Less there's some I don't know about." 

"I haven't done it because I'm not sure it's right, man," Judo 
said quietly. His eyes met Yellow's and held. Judo was sincerely 
fond of his younger friend; he felt closer to him than he had ever 
felt toward any other male, even his own brothers. If only he could 
find a way to get inside Yellow's head and sweep out all the shit the 
Death Angels' meetings had put there. 

"I don't believe you mean any of this," Yellow said resolutely. 
"You having a moment of weakness, of doubt. It'll pass and your 
heart will be strong once more." He started walking again; Judo 
fell in step beside him. 

"Look, man," Judo pleaded, "if you'll just think about it, you'll 
see there ain't no sense to it at all — " 

"Quiet!" Yellow hissed a caution, bobbing his chin up the street. 
There was a white man approaching. 

Judo stopped talking. The white man was in his thirties, lean, not 
too tall. He looked ordinary. 

"Watch this," Yellow whispered when the man drew near. 



Before Judo knew what was happening, Yellow had stepped in 
front of the white man and struck him a crushing hand slash to the 
larynx. The unsuspecting man's eyes bulged and he clutched at his 
throat. Yellow kicked his feet out from under him and he pitched to 
the ground. Blood ran from each corner of his mouth. 

"Let's go!" Yellow said, stepping over the fallen man. He took 
off running. Judo, overcoming his surprise, sucked in a breath and 
ran after him. 

Judo looked at Yellow running in front of him: green raincoat 
flapping, knit ball bouncing at the crown of his ski cap, tennis shoes 
slapping against the pavement. Then it came to him. He's crazy, he 
thought. Yellow was crazy. Just like the others. 

They were all crazy. 

Maybe he was crazy too. 

In the loft, Judo went up to Skullcap, ready to fight. "I want my 
piece back, man. And I want it now." 

"Why, sure, brother," Skullcap said pleasantly. He slipped Ju- 
do's .32 automatic from under his coat and handed it to him, grip 
first. "Sorry I kept it so long, man. But you can be sure it was put 
to very good use. Am I right, brother?" he said to Rims, standing 
beside him. 

Rims grinned what looked to Judo like an imbecilic grin. "You 
right!" he confirmed. 

"I done made arrangements to get me a new piece very shortly," 
Skullcap said. "The brother over in Oakland had to go under- 
ground, so I let him keep my old one. Brothers have to look out for 
brothers, dig?" 

"Yeah, sure," Judo said. He was examining his gun, making 
sure it was not damaged in any way. 

Yellow walked up and slapped Rims playfully on the muscle. 
"Hey, brother, I been hearing good things about you. You really 
on your way!" 

Rims grinned again, pleased. "I be doing all right," he said. He 
had one female and two male devils to his credit, and was ahead of 
all of them. 

"Man, that is finel" said Yellow. He nudged Skullcap. "Ain't 
that fine, brother?" 

"Right on," Skullcap replied. There was a tinge of jealousy in 


Clark Howard 

his voice. He thought of the two devils who lived after he stung 
them: the man talking to the two women in Potrero Hill, and the 
girl parking her car the other night. As close as he had been to 
them, they had still lived. It was piss-poor luck. If they hadn't 
lived, Yellow would be congratulating him. 

As if Judo could read Skullcap's mind, he said, "You not been 
doing too well lately, have you?" 

"Still better than you, motherfucker," Skullcap replied coldly. 
"Least I got the heart to try." 

Before Judo could say anything further, someone clapped his 
hands for attention. "You all sit down now," a voice instructed. 
"The man be coming up." 

Presently the well-groomed man with the Vandyke entered the 
room, accompanied as usual by his bodyguards. The men in the 
loft all took seats. Judo and Yellow sat on an old daybed against 
the back wall. All the lights in the room were turned off except for 
an overhead bulb above Vandyke. When the room was quiet, he 
opened a zippered leather binder and began to read. 

"Allah has said, 'Behold, I have set before you the way of life 
and the way of death.' The Messenger of Allah, in the person of 
the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, teaches us that the devil's way 
of life is one of sport and play. He tells us that there are two peo- 
ple: one a people of foolishness and mischief, who are the enemy 
of Allah from the time they are made, and are appointed for de- 
struction. This is the white race. The other people are of the family 
of Allah, and to them Allah will restore the rulership of the earth. 
These are the people of the black nation. Science has already 
proved that the white race has never fully developed physically or 
mentally. They are still a race of inquisitive children. Their whole 
civilization is one of play; even their statesmanship and their 
scientific experiments are another form of play. The white race in- 
tends to die laughing; there can be no other reason for making 
themselves and those who follow them the laughingstock of every 
civilized black nation on earth. The Messenger teaches us that 
we — the blacks — are the father of races. We will no longer follow 
an irresponsible child-race in the way of death. We follow Elijah 
Muhammad, a man who leads us in the way of life!" 

In the back of the room, Judo leaned close to Yellow and whis- 
pered, "Be right back, man. Got to take a piss." 



Quietly he stood up and slipped out the nearest door. Yellow 
stared curiously after him. Never before had Judo — or anyone, for 
that matter — left the room during a meeting. Yellow frowned. 
What was going on with him? The way he had been talking earlier, 
and now leaving a meeting — 

Yellow glanced around the room. Everyone was watching and 
listening intently to the speaker. Even the two bodyguards, who 
were supposed to watch all movement in the audience, were caught 
up by the lecture and not paying proper attention to their duties. 

Intrigued by what Judo might be up to, Yellow decided to slip 
out also — or try to. He waited until Vandyke took a few steps at 
the front of the room, when all eyes were on him, following his 
movements; then he slid off the daybed, dropped into a crouch, 
and duck walked out the rear door. 

Yellow went as quietly as possible down the steep wooden stairs 
that led to the loft. When he got to the bottom, he stopped and lis- 
tened. Hearing nothing, he wondered if Judo had gone home. He 
walked softly to the building's office, looked in, saw no one. Going 
to the rear door, he peered through its small window and looked 
out back. Nothing. 

Just as he was about to give up and go back upstairs, Yellow 
heard a sound from the direction of the first-floor bathroom. He 
frowned again, at himself this time. Maybe Judo had gone to take a 
piss. Yellow tiptoed to a doorway and inched one eye around the 
edge to see the bathroom door. It was open. Judo was inside. But 
he was not taking a piss. Instead, he was using a fingernail clipper 
to tighten the bolts of a small air vent above the toilet. 

What the fuck could he be doing? Yellow wondered. Then it 
came to him. Judo was either taking something out of the vent, or 
putting something in. The vent was a hiding place. 

As Yellow was grinning in delight at his own cleverness, Judo 
finished with the vent and got down off the toilet seat where he had 
been standing. Yellow jerked his head back and hurried away from 
the door. One of his shoes hit the leg of a folding chair and moved 
it noisily. Judo, wiping his hands on his trouser legs, froze at the 
sound and looked up anxiously. He stepped out of the bathroom 
and picked up a hammer from a nearby crate. Holding the hammer 
up to strike, he moved to the doorway and stepped quickly through 
it. No one. 


Clark Howard 

Yellow was back at the stairs by then, climbing them on all 
fours. Halfway up, one of the steps creaked loudly under his 

Again Judo heard the noise. Again he followed it with the ham- 
mer raised. But when he got to the bottom step and looked up — 

Judo finally put the hammer down and went quietly back up- 
stairs. When he slipped back into his place beside Yellow, his 
young friend glanced at him, nodded, and resumed giving his full 
attention to Vandyke. Judo stared at Yellow for a long moment, 
studying him suspiciously, looking for some outward sign of guilt 
or conscience. Yellow just kept listening intently to Vandyke and 
watching the speaker's movements. Judo finally looked away and 
stopped staring. 

Out of the corner of his eye, Yellow saw him turn away. Yellow 
expelled a silent breath of relief. 

After dinner on Saturday night, in the apartment they now 
shared, Anthony Harris and Debbie Turner sat on the couch to 
watch television. 

"What time is it?" Anthony asked, opening the newspaper to the 
TV listings. 

"Anthony, I have to talk to you about something," Debbie said. 

"Yeah? What is it?" 

"I'm pregnant." 

Anthony put the paper down and looked at her. His mind worked 
rapidly, tallying the weeks, the days. He did not think they had 
been together long enough for her to know she was pregnant. Not 
if the baby was his. 

"Is the baby mine?" he asked. Then before Debbie could an- 
swer, he raised his hand and said, "Never mind, don't say nothing 
to that. I don't want to know." 

For a few minutes, neither of them said anything. Anthony re- 
sumed reading the television listings, finished them, but made no 
move to turn on the set. Debbie moved to a chair across from him. 
She picked at her fingernails and smoothed wrinkles out of her 
skirt, glancing at him now and then to see if he was looking at her. 
Finally she asked, "Why don't you want to know, Anthony?" 



"I don't need no more worries," he said quietly. "I got enough 

"What kind of worries you got?" she wanted to know. 

Anthony's expression became sardonic, then it changed to half 
sardonic and half helplessness, then it became all helplessness. 
"I'm not sure I could explain it even if I wanted to," he said. 

"You don't want to try?" 

He shook his head. "Not now. I gots to figure it out some more. 
Then maybe I can explain it." 

Debbie came over and sat next to him again. "What about the 
baby, Anthony?" she asked. "What must I do about it?" 

Anthony put his arm around her and pulled her head to his shoul- 
der. "We'll have it," he said. "We'll have the baby. It'll be 

Debbie had hoped against hope that he would say something like 
that. Now that he had, she cried silently against his shoulder. 

It was commonly believed throughout the San Francisco Police 
Department that Chief of Inspectors Charles Barca had a photo- 
graphic memory. No one could remember his ever forgetting any- 
thing. Occasionally a subordinate would test his memory by delib- 
erately failing to carry out a minor or insignificant instruction from 
Barca, thinking it would slip the chief's mind. Invariably, just as 
soon as the slacker thought he was safe, Barca would fall on him 
like the proverbial ton of bricks. It was considered a never-to-be- 
forgotten experience to be reamed out by Charley Barca. Few men 
ever tested him a second time. 

Barca joined the police department during the Depression. He 
became the youngest officer ever to make sergeant, one of the first 
Italian- Americans to rise to the rank of captain on the civil service 
rolls, and the first man of Italian descent to become the chief of in- 
spectors. None of which surprised anyone who knew him. From 
his days at St. Ignatius High School where he played softball and 
ran the mile, Barca was considered a fierce competitor and a sure 
bet to get ahead in life. In appearance he was strictly soft-sell: av- 
erage height, medium build, well-groomed, a face pleasant enough 
to belong to a monsignor. It was under the surface that the high 
voltage was hidden: the unlimited energy, the relentless determina- 


Clark Howard 

tion, the incredible memory, and above all the total dedication to 
law and order. 

It was the dedication to his job that prompted him to convene, on 
Saturday, December 22, 1973, a pre-Christmas, weekend meeting 
with all the lieutenants of the various police bureaus, as well as 
Gus Coreris, John Fotinos, and several other homicide inspectors. 
On the desk before him were all the Incident Reports of all the 
cases thus far connected to the .32-caliber automatic pistol to 
which Mitch Luksich had matched all the recovered shell casings 
and slugs. One by one, Barca went over them in his mind. 

"Erakat, Dancik, DiGirolamo, Bertuccio — all murders," he said 
aloud. "Agnos and Roselli, attempted murders. By the way, how is 
the Roselli girl?" 

"Not good, Chief," a homicide inspector answered. "One of the 
slugs nicked her spine. And she's got a collapsed lung." 

Barca's expression darkened slightly. Random violence dis- 
turbed him to the very core. Domestic quarrels, murders for hire, 
killings during robberies — there was some pattern, some logic, to 
such crimes. But the four murders and two attempts with which he 
was faced here were without rhyme or reason. They were mind- 

"All right," he said, "I want a special unit formed to get this kill- 
er — or killers — as the case may be. I want it to be a hunt-and-pre- 
vent unit, and I want it on duty from dusk until dawn. Select the 
men from both the uniformed and plainclothes ranks; have them 
work in civilian dress and unmarked autos. I want this operation 
given top priority. These killings are wanton, vicious, and un- 
provoked. I want them stopped." 

At the back of the room, Fotinos and Coreris exchanged glances. 
They knew the look on Charley Barca's face. It meant sixteen-hour 
days and lots of black coffee. 

Just hours after the Barca meeting, Yellow returned alone to the 
building where the loft meetings were held. He slipped unnoticed 
into the employee rest room on the first floor, locked the door be- 
hind him, and stepped up onto the toilet seat. From his hip pocket 
he produced a small screwdriver and quickly loosened the screws 
of the air vent he had seen Judo tightening. With the faceplate re- 



moved, he peered inside the vent. There, just inches inside, was 
Judo's automatic pistol. 

Yellow grinned in delight, then he suddenly had to go to the bath- 
room. Stepping off the toilet, he urinated. Without bothering to 
flush the toilet, he stepped back up, got the gun, and hung the face- 
plate back in place. 

Minutes later, the fully loaded automatic in his waistband, Yel- 
low left the building and walked out into the streets of the city. 

Donald Crum, a twenty-four-year-old longshoreman, waited at 
the corner of Twelfth and Market to cross the street. He had just 
finished dinner in a Market Street diner and, walking home, lighted 
his first after-dinner cigarette. There was a breeze coming in from 
the bay; Crum patted his neatly styled hair to keep it in place. Not 
too many longshoremen had styled hair, but that did not matter to 
Crum. He had worked on the San Francisco docks for two years 
and was grappling-hook tough; no one ever kidded him about his 
styled hair. 

When there was a break in traffic, Crum crossed the street and 
walked south on Market, toward the Civic Center Hotel where he 
had been living for five months. He noticed a man a few years 
younger than himself come out of a bar on the corner. They shared 
a yard of sidewalk until Crum, longer-legged, walked on ahead. He 
noticed that the young man was carrying a brown paper bag with a 
stuffed Teddy bear in it. To each his own, Crum thought. 

The man with the bag containing the Teddy bear was Neal Moy- 
nihan. Nineteen years old, he was a fifth-generation San Francisco 
Irishman — on both sides. His grandfathers were Cornelius Moyni- 
han and Michael Minihan. The daughter of Michael Minihan had 
been his mother. She was dead now and his father, Cornelius J. 
Moynihan, had remarried. The Teddy bear that young Neal carried 
was a Christmas present for his sister, Christine, who was ten. 

Neal was a slim young man with a baby face and thick black hair 
growing far back on a very high forehead. He wore old denims and 
motorcycle boots, and as he walked he whistled a new rock tune to 
which he had not yet learned the words. 

As Neal Moynihan walked south on Twelfth Street, with Donald 


Clark Howard 

Crum a few feet ahead of him, Yellow came around the corner 
from McCoppin and walked toward them. 

Two blocks away, Mildred Hosier, age fifty, trudged along 
Gough Street toward Otis. She had two blocks to go to her bus stop 
at Otis and Van Ness. The bus ride would take ten minutes. Then, 
when she got off at Ellis, she had a little more than three blocks to 
walk until she was home. Mildred was a quite heavy woman; she 
had difficulty breathing if she walked too far or too fast. That was 
why she measured every trip in terms of how many blocks she 
would be on foot. 

What a blessed relief it would be, she thought, when she never 
had to do any extensive walking again. 

Walking toward the two white men, Yellow felt his nostrils flare. 
His eyes were wide and unblinking. A small amount of white, 
foamy spittle had collected at the corners of his mouth. 

I will slay these grafted snakes for Allah, he thought. 

His eyes darted from one man to the other. The taller one, with 
the styled hair, was closest to him. He would die first. Then the 
shorter one carrying the paper bag. Two devils for Allah — 

But even as Yellow was planning it in his mind, the first white 
man turned off the sidewalk and entered the Civic Center Hotel. 
For a terrible moment, Yellow thought the second man was going 
to do the same. Like Rims had felt that night on Divisadero when 
Marietta DiGirolamo kept changing direction, Yellow could see his 
plan for murder being foiled at the last moment. 

But Allah remained with him: the second man kept walking. 

Yellow slipped the gun from his belt and held it at his side. 

Neal Moynihan glanced up at the light-skinned Negro approach- 
ing him on the sidewalk. Automatically he switched the bag con- 
taining the Teddy bear to his other hand, the one farthest from the 
young black. Being that close to Christmas, there were a lot of 
purse snatchers and parcel snatchers on the streets, lightning-fast 
young hoodlums who could grab what a person was carrying and 
be gone before the victim could even yell. As far as Moynihan 
could tell in the night light of the street, this one walking toward 



him looked harmless enough; but he was still black, and you never 
could tell about those people. 

Moynihan was on the outside of the sidewalk as they started to 
pass each other. From the corner of his eye, he saw the black 
man's hand begin to move. Instinctively he took a step toward the 
curb. The black man was backing up toward the closest building, a 
furniture store, its triple window filled with tables, chairs, and oth- 
er odd pieces of furniture. Moynihan half turned to see what the 
black man was doing. As he did, an explosion in red suddenly en- 
gulfed his head. 

The first bullet hit him on the right side of his face, coursed 
down, and exited his neck. The second hit him in the left side of the 
neck, coursed down into his chest cavity, and lodged in his left 
lung. The third penetrated his heart, went all the way through, and 
exited his back. 

Neal Moynihan was dead when he hit the sidewalk. 

Donald Crum was a few feet inside the lobby of the Civic Center 
Hotel, warming his hands at a radiator, when he heard the shots. 
He ran out to the sidewalk to see what was happening. To his sur- 
prise, the young man with the Teddy bear was lying spread-eagled 
in the middle of the sidewalk, his face a patch of blood. The bag 
with the Teddy bear was lying next to him on the left, close to his 
body, as if he had let go of it with great reluctance. 

Crum dashed to the body and knelt beside it. "Hey, man, can 
you hear me?" he said. "Hey, bud, can you hear my voice?" 

Moynihan did not respond. As Crum knelt there, he heard the 
sound of running footsteps — not coming closer but going off into 
the distance. He rose and stepped over to the mouth of Stevenson 
Street, a narrow, alleylike lane that jutted one way off Twelfth 
Street. A figure was running away down the lane. 

Crum looked back toward the hotel. The desk clerk was standing 
out front. 

"Hey, call the cops, man," Crum said. He glanced over at Neal 
Moynihan. "And an ambulance," he said hopefully. 

Yellow ran as fast as he could down Stevenson. He cut through a 
trailer-rental lot and around a couple of buildings. He got to Brady 


Clark Howard 

Street. Down Brady he ran to Otis. He turned right on Otis and ran 
half a block farther — to a wide but quiet tricorner intersection 
where McCoppin, Gough, and Otis all came together. 

Yellow knew exactly where he was running to; he knew the 
neighborhood very well. By turning right at the tricorner and head- 
ing up Gough Street, he could, in a matter of seconds, be on Mar- 
ket Street, and there lose himself in the pedestrian traffic of that 
busy street. 

That was what he had in mind when he ran up to the tricorner in- 
tersection and stood there for a moment to rest. He had an odd lit- 
tle smile on his face, and he was thinking: Another white devil has 
been given up to Allah. Yellow felt a surge of exhilaration, a tickle 
that flowed from his testicles to his throat. It was not as powerful 
as the feeling he had the night he cut off the white female devil's 
head — but it was a tremendous high nevertheless. Allah be praised! 
he thought. I am a good and worthy servant of the Master! 

Yellow laughed aloud. 

Then the laughter broke and died as he looked over at the oppo- 
site corner and saw an older, heavyset woman staring curiously at 

An older, heavyset, white woman. 

Mildred Hosier did not know what to do. She was at the edge of 
the rounded corner, where Gough flowed around into McCoppin. 
To her left was a stop sign to halt any traffic coming down Gough. 
To her right on McCoppin was a bus stop. Behind her, an empty 
flagpole in the tiny corner yard of a small public building. Directly 
in front of her was a marked pedestrian crossing: two bold white 
lines creating a path over to the Otis Street side of the tricorner. 
Halfway across — because Gough was a six-lane street — was a nar- 
row safety island. 

Ordinarily Mildred would have simply walked across and con- 
tinued down Otis to her own bus stop at Van Ness. But she had 
seen the young Negro run up to the corner, seen him acting pecu- 
liarly and laughing out loud. She was afraid he was drunk or on 
drugs; she did not want to walk past him. Perhaps if she just waited 
at the corner for a moment, he would go on his way — 

But that was not to be. He had looked over and seen her. Seen 
her and stopped laughing. And stood there staring at her. 



Mildred thought briefly of turning oft to her left and walking up 
Gough, to Market. It was not an immediate desirable alternative to 
her because, for one thing, it meant an extra two blocks to get to 
her bus stop, and for another, Gough ran slightly uphill, which 
made for more difficult walking. Still, it would be better than hav- 
ing to walk past a drunk — or whatever he was. 

She made up her mind and starting walking up Gough. As soon 
as she did, the young Negro started across the street toward her. 
Because of her size and weight, Mildred could not move too fast, 
especially on an incline. So she knew she had no chance of getting 
away from him. Glancing sideways, she saw him walking briskly 
on an angle to intercept her. He reached the narrow safety island, 
stepped over it, kept coming. 

Mildred knew she was helpless, now at the mercy of whatever 
this strange young black man decided to do to her. She probably 
tried to remember how much money she had in her purse. She must 
have said a silent prayer that he would not hit her or molest her 
when he took her purse away — 

And he did not. 

Instead he walked up and shot her four times. 

All four bullets hit Mildred Hosier in the left anterior chest area. 
They formed a pattern partway around her left breast: one at seven 
o'clock, one very close at seven thirty, one at eleven, one at twelve 
o'clock, high. 

Unlike Neal Moynihan, six minutes earlier and two blocks away, 
Mildred Hosier, because she was a much heavier person, did not 
die before she fell. 

After he killed the white woman who had been watching him — 
and there was never any doubt in Yellow's mind that he had killed 
his victims; none of them had ever survived yet, unlike the unlucky 
Skullcap — Yellow ran back across Gough and up to Market. He 
fell in with the pedestrian traffic on Market, merging into the ebb 
and flow of people that seemed always to populate that major 
crosstown artery on Saturday night. Walking along, he could hear 
the sirens heading toward Twelfth Street, toward the first devil he 
had destroyed. Soon there would be even more sirens when some- 
one called about the woman devil on Gough. Yellow grinned and 
giggled. He was elated, felt almost as he did when he ejaculated, 


Clark Howard 

tickled throughout his body. Allah had been good to him tonight, 
he thought. Praise be to Allah! 

Up ahead, near Rose Street, he saw a uniformed policeman talk- 
ing to a flower vendor on the corner. Yellow suddenly remembered 
that he had Judo's gun still stuck in his belt. The barrel was warm 
against his stomach. 

Got to get this piece back in that vent, he thought. He walked as 
nonchalantly as he knew how past the policeman and the flower 
vendor. When he thought he was past the point of being noticed, he 
hurried a little faster down the street. He headed for the building 
where the loft meetings were held. 

"Two people were shot down in the street within two blocks of 
each other just minutes ago," the television commentator said on 
the 9:00 P.M. newsbreak. "Neal Moynihan, nineteen, died in a fu- 
sillade of gunfire from an unknown assailant near the intersection 
of Twelfth Street and Stevenson, at approximately eight fifteen. 
Less than ten minutes later, at McCoppin and Gough, a scant two 
blocks away, Mildred Hosier, fifty, was also cut down by an un- 
known gunman — ' ' 

Judo stared at the TV picture as if transfixed. Live remote pic- 
tures of both victims were shown, while the commentator con- 
tinued to talk. 

"Witnesses at both scenes described the gunman as a light- 
skinned Negro, five eight to five ten in height, one hundred thirty to 
one hundred fifty pounds. He escaped on foot after each incident. 
Police at both scenes have recovered similar bullet housings which 
they say were possibly fired from the same gun, believed to be a 
thirty-two-caliber automatic pistol — " 

Judo felt his mouth go dry. He got up, put on his jacket, and left 
the apartment. 

At the crime scenes, it was confusion compounded. 

The responding patrol officers were Douglas Dumas and James 
Selby in radio car Three-Bravo-Four. They arrived at the Moyni- 
han scene at 8:15 P.M., approximately five minutes after the shoot- 
ing. They were met there by Inspectors Sullivan and Kennealy of 
the Sex Crime Detail, who had been nearby. Lieutenant Syme and 



Sergeant Bragg were on their way to take charge of the physical 
scene. Up to that point, everything was proceeding smoothly. 

Then the second call came. 

Another shooting, less than two blocks away. Dumas and Selby 
quickly left the Moynihan scene and rushed to the Hosier scene. 
Despite their close proximity, another policeman, Blackwell in Car 
3F-94, beat them there. He was already talking to a witness, Carlos 
Paniagua, who had observed the shooting of Mildred Hosier from a 
window at 26 Gough Street. 

Inspectors Sanders and Gilford, of Homicide, arrived at the 
Moynihan scene. They were advised of the second shooting by 
Lieutenant Syme, who, with Sergeant Bragg, then hurried to the 
Hosier scene to take charge of that area. 

Sleadd, of the Photo Lab, and Tedesco, of the Crime Lab, ar- 
rived at the Moynihan scene. Three spent shell casings were locat- 
ed, circled with chalk, and photographed. 

A Central Ambulance unit, commanded by Steward Haynes, had 
also arrived at the Moynihan scene. Haynes officially pronounced 
Neal Moynihan dead at 8:23 P.M. Deputy Coroner Schultz arrived 
to take charge of the body. 

When they had completed all of their preliminary work at the 
Moynihan scene, Homicide Inspectors Sanders and Gilford rushed 
to the Hosier scene. Another Central Ambulance unit was already 
there; a steward named Holbrook could not determine, because of 
her weight, whether Mildred Hosier was dead or not. Taking no 
chances, he rushed her to Mission Emergency Hospital. 

Sleadd arrived to photograph the scene, Tedesco to collect any 
physical evidence. The Crime Lab, Tedesco thought solemnly, was 
getting quite a collection of .32 caliber slugs and casings. 

At both scenes, officers were managing to round up witnesses. 
Besides Donald Crum, one other person had seen the killer of Neal 
Moynihan: one Eugene Tracey had heard the shots, looked out his 
second-floor window, and seen the gunman running down Steven- 
son Street. At the Hosier scene, four additional witnesses had been 
located, although none of them, except the original witness, Carlos 
Paniagua, had seen the killer. 

Meanwhile, at Mission Emergency Hospital, Dr. John Eugene 
officially pronounced Mildred Hosier dead. 


Clark Howard 

* * * 

Without being seen by any of the night employees, Judo entered 
the building where the loft meetings were held and went directly to 
the first-floor washroom. He locked the door and stepped onto the 
toilet seat. Using his nail clippers again, he removed the screws 
and lifted off the faceplate of the air vent. He looked inside. The 
gun was still there. 

Judo took it out and looked at it. He felt it carefully. It was not 
warm, did not look any different. Then he smelled the barrel. And 
he knew. It had been fired. 

He slipped the magazine out of the handle. Checked it for load. 
There was only one bullet left in it. When Judo had put it in the 
vent, the magazine had contained eight rounds. 

Judo's jaw clenched and his mouth pulled into a tight line. His 
nostrils flared in anger, as Yellow's had earlier in excitement. Bas- 
tards! he thought. Motherfucking bastards! 

It had to be one of the men from the loft meeting. One of the 
eleven or twelve besides himself who had attended that last meet- 
ing. Somebody who had come in late, maybe, and seen him hide 
the gun there. One of the men he did not know too well — 

Angry as he was, Judo tried very hard not to let himself think 
that it was Yellow who had taken the gun. He hated like hell to 
think that Yellow would have done that to him, deceived him like 
that. Yet he had been suspicious of his young friend the very night 
he had hidden the gun there; he had suspected even then that Yel- 
low had followed him down from the loft and spied on him while he 
hid the gun. 

Wasn't there nobody he could trust? he wondered. 

Then he made up his mind about something: This was the last 
time anyone was going to use the gun. He had hidden it in that vent 
in the first place because he did not want to take it home. He did 
not want his woman to see it. Besides, Muslim rules forbade keep- 
ing a gun in the house. Always hide weapons outside the home, the 
lessons taught. Outside the home — but close and convenient 
enough to retrieve quickly. 

But Judo did not want to retrieve the gun anymore. He was sick 
and tired of the gun, did not want the responsibility for it anymore. 
There was no telling how many people the fucking thing had killed: 



the old man in the store, that guy using the telephone, the woman 
on Divisadero, the old man on Bancroft, these two tonight — 

No more, he thought grimly. As far as this gun is concerned, it is 

Judo stuck the gun in his belt and replaced the vent plate. He 
slipped out of the building just as he had slipped in: unobserved. 

One hour later, in a borrowed car, Judo drove to the middle of 
the Golden Gate Bridge and hurled the pistol into the bay. 

At the end of Day Sixty-four there were twelve victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot behind 
the ear. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, surviving after having his lungs, spleen, and kid- 
ney ripped apart by bullets. 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death 
as she walked down the street. 

Ilario Bertuccio, gunned down in the street as he walked home 
from work with a bottle of 7-Up under his arm. 

Angela Roselli, surviving but seriously injured after being shot 
down in the street as she was returning home from a Christmas 

Neal Moynihan, shot down in the street on his way home with a 
Teddy bear for his little sister. 

And Mildred Hosier, shot down in the street as she walked to- 
ward her bus stop. 


Day 65 

Judo answered the phone on the first ring. It was Yellow. 

"How you doing, brother?" the younger man asked. 

"Not bad," Judo replied in a cool tone. He did not bother to ask 
Yellow how he was doing. 

"I called to invite you to a little Christmas party down at the 
loft," Yellow said. 

Judo sighed quietly. It was Sunday, the day before Christmas 
Eve. Judo had purposely stayed away from the loft all weekend be- 
cause he did not want to be around Yellow, Skullcap, Rims, or any 
of the other Death Angel candidates. 

"I'm busy, man," he lied. "I got some shopping to do." 

"The party ain't until tonight, after the stores close," Yellow 
said. "It won't get in the way of your shopping." 

Judo remained silent. Yellow waited what seemed like a long 
time. Judo still did not speak. 

"Something wrong, brother?" Yellow asked. 

"Yeah," Judo snapped. "I'm pissed, that's what wrong." He 
was about to accuse Yellow of taking the gun, but Yellow beat him 
to it. 

"You pissed 'cause I borrowed your gun, man?" 



"Fucking right I am!" Judo became twice as angry because Yel- 
low had admitted it so quickly. 

"Hey, man, I know I should have asked first," Yellow said con- 
tritely, "but I just didn't think, you know what I mean? Allah 
moved me, brother, and I just acted. Allah directed me to two 
devils and I destroyed them." 

"Yeah, with my gun," Judo muttered. 

"I was going to tell you about it, man," Yellow said. "That's 
one of the reasons I'm calling. That and to ask you to come down 
to the loft for this special Christmas party." 

"What's special about it?" Judo asked. 

"We going to fix up a special turkey for the white devils," said 

"What kind of turkey?" 

"You'll see when you get there," Yellow teased. "We already 
got the fixings, though. And the festivities gonna be starting 'bout 
seven o'clock. Can we count on you to be there?" 

Judo did not answer. He tried to think of an excuse to decline, 
but his mind simply could not conjure up anything believable. Just 
say no, man! one part of his brain screamed at him. But he could 
not do it. Whether out of fear or embarrassment or just plain weak- 
ness, he could not say no. 

"How about it, brother?" Yellow pressed. "Most everybody 
gonna be there. The others, they'll be expecting you." 

"I'll be there," Judo said finally. He could have bitten his tongue 
off for saying it. 

"Hey, good, brother!" said Yellow, his tone sounding genuinely 
pleased. "Now, listen, tell me what I can do for you to make up for 
borrowing your piece like I did. I want us to mend our break, 

"You don't have to do nothing, man." 

"I don't want you pissed at me, brother." 

"I ain't pissed at you." Judo sighed quietly. Just leave me alone 
for a while, man, he thought. 

"You sure, brother?" 

"I'm sure," Judo assured him. 

"Hey, out of sight, brother! Listen, we'll all see you tonight, 
man. Dig?" 


Clark Howard 
"Dig," said Judo. 

The white man they had kidnapped oft the street twelve hours 
earlier was absolutely terrified. They had him stripped naked and 
bound hand and foot to a straight-back wooden chair. The chair, in 
turn, was securely tied to a loft pillar so that he could not move it 
around or tip it over. A dirty cloth had been stuffed into his mouth 
and strips of adhesive tape stretched over it. He could breathe, but 
that was all. 

The man was young: about twenty-five. Average: five ten, 140 
pounds. He had been selected the previous night while watching a 
group of street entertainers in Ghirardelli Square, the modern 
shopping and dining complex at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf. 
Four blacks followed him out of the complex and caught up with 
him on a lonely block of North Point Street. They literally sur- 
rounded him, one of them pushing the barrel of a gun against his 

"Be cool, motherfucker," he was told with a smile. "Cause us 
any trouble and you die here and now. " 

Since they had tied him to the chair, he had wished a hundred 
times that he had caused them trouble, that he had made a scene, 
that he had tried to get away. A quick death on the street seemed 
more desirable with every hour that passed. God only knew what 
they planned to do to him. 

His clothes had been taken away and were lying in a pile in the 
corner. His wallet, money, and other personal belongings were on 
a chair next to the pile. His kidnappers had seemed particularly 
pleased when they examined his identification. "This sucker ain't 
even from around here, man," one of them said. "He probably 
won't even be reported missing here." 

For the most part he had been left alone in the loft. From time to 
time one or two blacks who had not been among the abductors 
would come up to have a look at him. Occasionally they made com- 

"Don't see why the mothers couldn't have grabbed a woman," 
one of them said. "We could have had a dick-sucking party then." 

"You still can, baby," replied his friend. "He look about like 
your type." The friend laughed all the way back down the stairs. 

Another one who came up, alone, glared at him for several long 



minutes. "You white motherfucking devil," he muttered. "You 
evil white grafted-snake motherfucking devil." 

Still another smiled coldly at him and said, "I got something for 
you, honky." He took out his penis and urinated all over the bound 
man's stomach and crotch. 

As the day wore on, the captive's body began to ache from the 
ordeal of being tied in one position; his stomach growled in anger 
from hunger; he grew stiff, sore, cold. But all of his physical dis- 
comfort was insignificant compared to the terrible mental terror he 
felt. The men who had him were obviously mad, insane. And the 
things they might do to him — unspeakable. 

Although he did not know exactly what those things were, he 
was certain that his worst fears would be realized. He would gladly 
have taken his own life than face the coming night hours. 

The Crime Lab was deserted that Sunday except for Mitch Luk- 
sich and the duty man on call. Mitch was in his cubicle surrounded 
by two of the things he loved most: guns and microscopes. The 
guns were a selection of .32-caliber automatics he had been ex- 
amining in an attempt to isolate the particular make of weapon that 
had fired the large collection of .32 slugs and shell casings the lab 
now had. Those shells and casings were spread out in neat groups 
on Luksich's work counter. There were eight groups, marked Era- 
kat, Dancik, DiGirolamo, Agnos, Bertuccio, Roselli, Moynihan, 
and Hosier. In all, Luksich now had twenty-four shell casings and 
thirteen bullets. 

For more than an hour, Luksich had been reexamining and re- 
classifying each of the casings and each of the slugs, at the same 
time matching them individually to makes of weapons from which 
it was possible that they might or might not have been fired. Luk- 
sich was a meticulously careful scientist. Once he had microscopi- 
cally determined that all the slugs had been fired from the same 
gun, he could have taken them as a group and eliminated various 
weapons that could not have fired them. But Luksich preferred to 
eliminate them individually, one at a time, slowly and precisely, in 
order to double-check his previous findings as he went along. That 
was why he was working alone on the Sunday before Christmas 

He was almost finished now. The last four slugs and casings 


Clark Howard 

were from the group marked 73-9359 — Hosier. The casings had 
been retrieved at the McCoppin and Gough crime scene; the slugs 
had been removed from Mildred Hosier's body at the autopsy. One 
by one, Luksich put them under the scope. Slowly and with great 
care, as if he had never seen them before, he checked them again, 
from the beginning: the caliber, the manufacturer, the headstamp, 
type of fire, primer type, presence of residue, mutilation of case, 
bullet weight, breech impressions, ejector marks, extractor marks, 
chamber marks, anything else that the eye of the microscope could 
show him. 

Finally he was finished. Finished and scientifically satisfied. He 
went to a nearby desk, lowered his big, tired frame into a chair, and 
reached for a Dictaphone mike. He began dictating. 

"Subject: Characteristics of Evidence Bullets and Cartridge 
Cases. Laboratory Numbers: 8580, 9082, 9151, 9152, 9322, 9323, 
9357, and 9358. Evidence to Date: Twenty-four thirty two-caliber 
Automatic Colt Pistol cases and thirteen bullets. 

"Paragraph. Body of Report: The twenty-four thirty-two-caliber 
ACP cartridge cases are largely of Remington-Peters manufacture. 
This is standard ammunition and quite common. Only four of them 
are not Remington; these are of Winchester-Western manufacture 
and are marked W-W. This is also a standard cartridge and quite 

"Paragraph. The ejector mark left on these cases is readily 
identifiable in its characteristic appearance. There is also present a 
mark just below this ejector mark which appears to have been 
made by the ejector cut in the breech face. 

"Paragraph. The firing pin impression on these cartridge cases is 
also readily identifiable and indicates that the firing pin is round 
with a number of concentric machining cuts. One of these concen- 
tric cuts exhibits a bulge which would indicate a chatter mark or pit 
at the tip of the firing pin. 

"Paragraph. There are two factors present which indicate exces- 
sive headspace in this pistol: the expansion or bulging of all 
twenty-four cases in a similar fashion, and the slight protrusion of 
the primer out of its pocket. 

"Paragraph. The thirteen bullets all match microscopically and 
exhibit six lands and grooves with a right-hand twist. Special char- 
acteristics exhibited are a land width of .046 inches, and an indica- 



tion of fairly deep rifling. Several high spots left on some of the 
lands indicate less than high-quality manufacture. 

"Paragraph. The characteristics listed: ejector markings, exces- 
sive headspace, rough firing pin and less than high-quality manu- 
facture, as well as barrel characteristics, are common to a large 
percentage of thirty-two-caliber automatics. 

"Paragraph. Inclusion or elimination of some certain models is 
not possible because of vagaries of manufacture. Example: nor- 
mally high-quality pistols of German and Czech manufacture were 
turned out rather crudely during war years, and some of these 
models, in particular the CZ Model 27, exhibit characteristics simi- 
lar to our evidence cases and bullets; however, another CZ Model 
27 made under occupation does not. 

"Paragraph. A large number of the current crop of inexpensive 
imported automatics also exhibit characteristics similar to our evi- 
dence cases. The few guns that can be eliminated are: all Colts, all 
Remingtons, all Hungarian Frommes, the Langerhan, the Dreyse, 
and Stock. End of report." 

Luksich fished a cheroot from his pocket and lighted it. A cloud 
of offensive gray smoke rose to the ceiling. Luksich yawned and 
stretched. That was all he could do for the present. 

He rose, got his coat, and left the office to enjoy what little was 
left of his weekend. 

In Homicide, Fotinos and Coreris were also putting in extra 
time. They already knew, through an earlier phone call to Mitch 
Luksich, that the slugs and casings from the two latest killings 
matched those from the previous six shootings. Even though 
officially only one of those previous cases — Erakat — was theirs, 
they were nevertheless looking over all the facts of the other five 
cases, plus the two newest ones. 

"What turned up on that little spik who was standing there when 
Dancik was shot?" Coreris asked across their facing desks. 

"Zilch," said Fotinos. "Practically zilch anyway. They found a 
woman named Thelma-something in an apartment on Frederick 
Street. She says the guy's name is Eduardo Abdi. Says he claims to 
be a traveling missionary who goes around preaching to fruit pick- 
ers in the fields." 

Coreris rolled his eyes. "Christ, just what we need." 


Clark Howard 

Fotinos shrugged. "Well, hell, maybe he'll give the case a little 

Coreris granted. "We already got all the color we need." 

"That's for sure," said Fotinos. He bobbed his head at the re- 
ports that Coreris had. "Did anybody check out the acquaint- 
ances of that black boyfriend of the DiGirolamo girl? Maybe he 
had a Muslim buddy who didn't like him living with a white wom- 

"I don't think they went any farther than the guy himself," Cor- 
eris said. "He was clean all the way around except for some lousy 
traffic warrants." 

"I'm gonna make a note of it," Fotinos said. "If all else fails, 
I'm gonna check the guy out. Get the names of some of his friends. 
You never can tell with these blacks." 

Coreris shrugged. "Might as well. What the hell." 

"Right. What the hell." 

"Look in the Agnos file and see if there's been a follow-up call to 
have him look at mug shots again." 

Fotinos rummaged through his own stack of reports and pulled 
out the one for Art Agnos. "No follow-up," he said. "He claims 
he can't identify the guy." 

Coreris snorted. "He looked right into the bastard's face, for 
Christ's sake!" 

"He's a Greek," Fotinos said. "He don't remember so good, 
maybe. Besides, they all look alike, you know. Especially under a 
streetlight holding a gun. " 

The phone rang. Fotinos picked it up. 

"Homicide, Inspector Fotinos." He smiled. "Hello, Kathy," he 
said to the wife of Gus Coreris. "No, I don't know where he is, 
Kathy. Last time I saw him he was trying to get some blonde in 
Records to go have a drink with him — " 

Coreris picked up the line. "Don't pay any attention to him, 
sweetheart. He's drank again. What did you want?" 

"Just to remind you that it's the Christmas Eve weekend, Gus. 
And that we do have children. They may be grown, but they still 
like to celebrate holiday weekends as a family." 

"I know, sweetheart, I know. We're wrapping up right now. I'll 
be home in an hour." 




"I promise." 

After Coreris hung up, he stared out the window at the twilit city 
for a moment, thinking of his dark-haired, vivacious wife, the 
mother of his two grown kids. Two grown kids! God, that was hard 
to believe. Especially when he looked at her. To him she was still 
the same young beauty he had been smitten by so long ago. What a 
wonderful thing it was, he reflected, to remain in love with the 
same woman for so many years. 

Coreris sighed and looked down at his hands. Then he frowned. 
They did not look like his hands at all; they looked like his father's 
hands. That's because you're going to be forty-nine years old next 
month, he told himself. He shook his head wryly. I wonder, he 
thought, why Kathy isn't getting any older? 

"Want to call it a day?" Fotinos asked. His own family would be 
waiting for him also. 

"Let's go over a few more things first," Coreris answered. 

There were still monsters loose in the city. Sometimes the wom- 
en did not understand that. 

In another part of the city, other men were also concerned with 
catching the killer. Three executive directors of Arab organizations 
in the Bay Area, and an Arab attorney, met at the home of a 
wealthy Arab businessman. 

"Our brother Saleem Erakat has been dead for one month," the 
businessman said. "We must do something more in an effort to ap- 
prehend his murderer." He looked at the lawyer. "Do you think it 
would help if we doubled the reward?" 

"Possibly," the attorney said. "It certainly can't hurt." 

"The police: are you satisfied that they are doing everything they 
should be doing?" 

"Absolutely," the attorney assured him. On the coffee table be- 
fore them was the morning edition of the Examiner. It was open to 
page 5, where there was a one-column story headed: 

Two Saturday 
Murders Tied 
To Others 


Clark Howard 

The item, released by the police department's public information 
section, stated that the Moynihan and Hosier killings in the Mis- 
sion District had definitely been linked to at least three other shoot- 
ings during the month: Paul Dancik on December 11, and Marietta 
DiGirolamo and Arthur Agnos on December 13. The attorney 
knew, through a source he had at the Hall of Justice, that more 
than just those three shootings had been connected by the depart- 
ment; he knew that a total of eight shootings, six of them fatal, had 
definitely been committed with the same gun. And he knew that 
one of those victims was Saleem Erakat. 

Why the police had decided not to link all of the incidents, the 
Arab attorney did not know. Probably, he guessed, to give them a 
reserve supply of information to use as checks and balances on fu- 
ture leads or informant tips. Whatever the reason, he was certainly 
not going to divulge anything he knew. Yet he felt he had to do a 
little more to help these good gentlemen who were so troubled 
about their friend's death. 

"I have a thought," he told them. "It is all well and good to dou- 
ble the reward, and I think you should do it. Increase it to ten thou- 
sand, by all means. But I believe you can go one step further in 
possibly helping to apprehend these killers. I think if you are will- 
ing to establish a legal defense fund for any informant who comes 
forward that it might encourage a response." 

Several eyebrows raised. "A legal defense fund? You mean for 
one of the killers?" 

"Yes. I realize that it is a rather unorthodox suggestion. But it 
occurs to me that the chances of an wninvolved informant coming 
forth would seem to be very slim. With blacks such as these, I 
think a much better chance exists that one of the actual partici- 
pants would come forward." 

The eyebrows were lowered now and thoughtful expressions set 
in. This was something the Arabs could understand. "A traitor, 
yes," one of them said, and the others nodded. 

"Exactly," said the attorney, "a traitor. Someone who knows 
what happened but may be afraid to come forward because of his 
own involvement. I think we might very well encourage this sort of 
treachery if we word an announcement to the papers just right." 

"How would that be?" he was asked. 



The attorney thought for a moment, then said, "Something like 
this: 'We will provide a defense fund for anyone with information 
about the killing who fears going to the police because of — let's 
see — 'because of their own problems with the law.' I think that's 
broad enough to cover a multitude of sins, as the Christians say, 
yet it definitely gets the point across. What do you think, gentle- 

The others unanimously agreed. 

The attorney was given the task of preparing a joint press release 
which doubled the reward and established the defense fund. It was 
to be sent to the papers that very day. 

This was the first indication from any area that an involved party 
to the killings might receive a less-than-hostile reception if he came 
forward to inform on his accomplices. 

In the loft, the white man tied to the chair was trying to shrivel 
up inside himself. His eyes were wide with terror and his pale, 
naked body trembled both from fear and exposure. For an hour 
now the blacks had been coming upstairs in twos and threes, and 
just standing in front of him, looking at him, studying him. And 
smiling, forever smiling: wide, bright smiles: pearly- white teeth in 
dark faces with eyes that seldom blinked. 

He knew the time was near because there was an electricity 
among them, an underlying tension and excitement, a nervousness, 
like the aura in a contender's dressing room minutes before a title 
shot. What the bound man did not know was the reason for the 
feeling. Something was going to happen; he just did not know 

They're going to sexually attack me, he thought. Like he had 
heard they did to new men in prison. That must be why his clothes 
had been taken away and he had been left naked. They planned to 
hold him down and use him sexually, force him to serve them sexu- 

And then, pray God, when they were finished with him, they 
would throw him in an alley somewhere and it would be all over. 
God, it would be all over — 

But even as he thought it, he knew he was deluding himself. He 
knew that it was not going to be like that. A terrible, putrid sick- 


Clark Howard 

ness deep in the pit of him told him that he was living his last min- 
utes of life. This loft — this shabby, seedy loft with its heavy, musty 
smell — was the last thing he would ever see. 

They were going to kill him. 

When nighttime came and the loft grew dark, he heard them 
filing up the stairs, laughing and joking and making fun out of ev- 
erything, like rowdy kids on a playground. Then the lights went on 
and the doorway to the stairwell was carefully closed and bolted. 
They came over to him and stood around him in a semicircle, the 
first time all of them were there at once. There were no smiles, no 
grins, now that the time had come. This was going to be serious 
business, done purposefully and determinedly. There was, their 
faces said, a reason for what they were about to do. 

One of the men went to a closet and came back with a topless 
cardboard box containing a collection of knives, meat cleavers, 
metal cutters, and machetes. "Everybody take one," he said. 

The men filed up to the box; each one selected a single instru- 

"Now line up." 

The men formed a single column. 

"We'll take turns. I go first." 

The man stepped next to the bound, gagged prisoner. He paused 
a beat, then suddenly, viciously, cut off the man's left ear. 

The next one in line opened a pair of metal cutters and snipped 
off a thumb. 

The next used a meat cleaver to chop off three toes. 

The victim's screams were choked back by the gag in his mouth. 
Only muffled, horrible, animal grunts could be heard in the room. 
Mercifully, the bound man soon lost consciousness. 

The carnage continued nevertheless. 

Methodically, the men in the line butchered their prisoner like a 
hog in a slaughterhouse. 

Judo arrived at the loft after it was all over. "You too late, 
man," Yellow told him. "All the fun done through." 

Judo frowned. Yellow had a curiously wasted expression on his 
face. Looking around the loft, Judo noticed that of the men who 
were still there, most of them looked the same way: as if they were 



very weary from long hours of labor. A line of perspiration even 
lay across Yellow's boyish upper lip, and he did not bother to lick it 
off as he usually did. 

The man who had passed out the weapons came up to Judo. 
"Since you weren't here to help with the main work, brother, we 
gots a little special job you can do. You don't mind helping us out, 
do you, brother?" 

"No," Judo said. He had to force the word out. 

Judo was led to the back of the loft. There, on a rolled-out tar- 
paulin, was a bundle that closely resembled a huge frozen turkey. 
It was identical in shape to a turkey: wrapped in white opaque plas- 
tic and bound with yellow plastic rope. The rope had even been 
fashioned into a net, just like the turkeys in the freezer at the su- 

"We got a dead animal we gots to get rid of, brother," said the 
man. " 'Predate it if you'd throw it in the bay for us. " 

Judo swallowed dryly. "I don't have no car, man." 

"The van's downstairs," said Yellow. "You can take that." 

Judo wet his lips. Several of the men in the loft were looking at 
him. "Right on," he said with no enthusiasm at all. He looked at 
Yellow. "Give me a hand downstairs, brother," he said. 

Judo and Yellow each took two corners of the tarp and lifted. 
The bundle rolled sideways and lay still. They carried it downstairs 
and out to the van. With some difficulty, they got it into the back of 
the van. 

"That sucker be heavy," Judo said. "Come on with me and help 
me out, man." 

"Man, I can't do it," Yellow said. "I'm late for somewhere I got 
to be." 

"Come on, man," Judo insisted. "You owe me one for that gun 

Yellow's expression tightened. "Listen, brother, let me tell you 
something," he said with an edge, "after tonight I don't owe you a 
fucking thing. I been sticking up for you a lot lately, and tonight 
when you wasn't here on time, I put my fucking head on the block 
and stuck up for you against everybody. For a long time now I been 
taking your part when some of the others been putting you down. 
You not the most popular dude around here right now, you know 


Clark Howard 

what I mean? Some of the others say you think you too good for 
the rest of us; say you think being a Death Angel is shit. But I stick 
up for you, see? I say, hey, this brother, he just be slower than the 
rest of us. That's why he ain't done no stings yet. That's why his 
attitude don't seem right. That's why he wasn't here on time to- 
night to take part in the party." Yellow put a stiff forefinger against 
Judo's chest. "I been sticking up plenty for you lately, brother. 
And I'm the onliest one been doing it too. So I don't figure I owe 
you shit, man — for the gun or anything else!" 

Yellow slammed one of the rear doors of the van and stalked 
away. He got into his own car and drove off the lot. 

Judo stood there alone for a few minutes, staring into the dark- 
ness. Take off, man/his mind screamed at him. Go on\ RunlDisap- 
pear and don't never come back! 

Can't, he answered. They know where you live, where your wom- 
an is. 

Forget her! Leave her behind. 

Can't. Can't do that. 

Why not? 

Because I care for her. 

Shit, his conscience said. Then: Okay, baby, it's your funeral. 

Turning, Judo rolled the turkeylike bundle into a corner of the 
van and flipped the tarp over it. Closing the other rear door, he got 
into the van and drove off. 

Larry Green drove away from the rear of Black Self Help and 
cut over to Haight Street, heading west. As he passed Octavia, a 
car came around the corner and began following him. The car was 
being driven by a black man; another black man sat beside him. 

Five blocks farther along, Larry glanced in the rear view mirror 
and noticed the car. He kept checking it several times every block; 
it did not take him long to determine that it was following him. 

A mile up the street, at Masonic, the black driver of the car doing 
the following set a portable red flasher on the dashboard and 
switched it on. Larry saw it at once and pulled to the curb. He got 
out of the car and stood by the driver's door as the two men ap- 
proached him. One man remained on the passenger side of the car; 
the other man came up to Larry. He showed Larry an ID card. 



"I'm Inspector Gilford of the police department," he said. 
"May I see some identification, please?" 

"Yes, sir!" Larry produced a driver's license and a Social Secu- 
rity card. Gilford studied them and compared the license photo 
with Larry's face. He noted Larry's dress: gray sweat shirt, khaki 
trousers, heavy shoes. There was a yellow hard hat on the dash- 
board. Gilford, who had worked both the Moynihan and Hosier 
killings, was struck by the similarity between Larry Green and the 
description given of the Moynihan-Hosler killer: light-skinned Ne- 
gro, about twenty-five, medium height, 135 pounds, light-colored 
trousers, darker shirt or jacket. 

"Mr. Green, we're investigating two homicides that took place 
in the area just west of Market and Van Ness on Saturday night." 

"Yes, sir. I heard about those," Larry said. He emphasized the 
"sir" just enough for it to be offensive. 

"Do you frequent that general area?" 

"Yes, sir. Five, sometimes six days a week. I work down there. 
At the Black Self Help Moving and Storage. It's over on — " 

"I know where it is," Gilford said. "Mr. Green, were you in the 
Market-Van Ness area on Saturday night?" 

Larry shook his head. "No, sir. Nowhere around there." 

"Could you prove that?" 

"If I has to." 

Gilford handed Larry's ID back to him. "Mr. Green, do you 
consider yourself a law-abiding citizen, who cooperates with police 

"Yes, sir," Larry replied. 

"Would you consent to letting my partner, Inspector Sanders, 
and me search your vehicle?" 

Larry's eyes narrowed. "If I say no, you can't do it?" 

"That's correct. But then that would be very uncooperative, 
wouldn't it? And make us very suspicious of you." 

Larry studied the expressions of the two officers. There was no 
warmth or humor in either face. These men were black, both of 
them, but they were not his kind of black. Larry decided to play it 

"I'm a good citizen," he said cockily. "Search it." 

Gilford and Sanders conducted a thorough search of Larry 


Clark Howard 

Green's automobile. They found nothing incriminating: no gun, no 
dope, no bloodstains, nothing. Gilford, who had a nagging suspi- 
cion about Larry, was disappointed. So was Sanders, who almost 
smelted murder on the young Muslim. Something told them both 
that this light-skinned kid was dirty. Neither of them knew how he 
was dirty — but he was dirty. 

There was no way to prove it that night, however. 

"Okay, Mr. Green, you're free to go," Sanders said when the 
search was over. "Sorry to have troubled you. Thank you for your 

"Yes, sir," Larry said one final time. Both officers felt like slap- 
ping the "sir" right out of his mouth. 

Larry got back into his car and drove away. 

As Sanders and Gilford watched him go, their nagging suspicion 
about him seemed to increase. As if perhaps they had turned a poi- 
sonous reptile loose. 

Judo drove out to the edge of Sutro Heights and parked facing 
the ocean. It was late now and very cold this close to the sea. Judo 
shivered as he sat in the dark van and looked around fearfully for 
anyone who might be watching him. He could see no one — but, he 
guessed, he really should not expect to; anyone with even half- 
sense would be inside where it was warm, doing last-minute things 
getting ready for Christmas. Not sitting up on an ocean bluff in the 
cold with a bundle of — 

Judo shivered almost spastically as he thought of the thing on the 
cargo deck behind him. God only knew what it was: parts of a man, 
a woman, a couple of kids — 

It suddenly occurred to him that he had just thought the word 
"God" instead of Allah. And a moment earlier he had thought 
about Christmas. Both the deity and the day and everything they 
represented were Christian; as a Muslim he had no business think- 
ing about either. But in times of stress, his mind and thoughts al- 
ways seemed to revert to what came naturally. And that was God, 
not Allah. 

Judo took a deep breath. Got to get my shit together, he thought. 
I am a Muslim. I may not be a fucking Death Angel, but I am a 
Muslim. And I got to start acting like one. I gots to be strong and 



resolute, like the Prophet Elijah say to be. Got to get my head right 
and my heart right. I know I can straighten out if I can just take 
that first big step — 

First big step you better take, asshole, is to get that bundle taken 
care of, he told himself rudely. Some honky cop liable to come up 
on you any minute just sitting here like this. 

Right. Judo turned up his collar and got out of the van. He 
opened the rear doors and dragged the bundle over to him. It was a 
heavy sucker, he realized as he lifted it by himself for the first time, 
a lot heavier than he thought it was the first time he had commented 
on its weight. That time, standing with Yellow back on the lot, he 
had said it mainly to try and get Yellow to come with him to dis- 
pose of it. Now he was finding out just how heavy it really was. 

He rolled it slightly to pull loose the corners of the tarp. With the 
four corners pulled up tautly, Judo twisted them together. Then he 
turned around and edged one shoulder under it. He bent over and 
lifted, feeling the bundle come off the cargo deck and fall against 
his back. He grunted as the full weight of it pulled on his shoulder. 
Heavy sucker — 

Mustering all his strength, Judo carried the bundle out past the 
safety barrier to a section of cliff that dropped precipitously to the 
water below. By the time he got to the edge, he was perspiring 
heavily and the cold wind from the sea was giving him a threaten- 
ing chill. Just a few more steps, he told himself. 

When he was at a place he considered suitable, Judo turned so 
that the bundle was toward the sea. All he had to do now was re- 
lease two corners of the tarp and the turkey-looking package would 
roll down a slight embankment and fall directly into the sea. 

But it did not work out that way. 

As Judo tried to let go of two corners, he felt all four of them 
slipping from his grip. The weight of the bundle — easily in excess 
of a hundred pounds — dragged over his shoulder like an anvil, al- 
most as if it were trying to pull him into the sea with it. Judo let out 
a terrified gasp as he momentarily lost his balance and thought he 
was going to go over the embankment backward. It was during the 
split second that it took him to regain his equilibrium that he let go 
of the bundle entirely. It dropped to the embankment, rolled 
down — taking the tarpaulin with it, rolling itself up in it as it gained 


Clark Howard 

momentum — and finally pitched over the edge and fell into the sea. 
Over, Judo thought, panting. Over and done with. Won't nobody 
ever find the sucker now — 

Ten hours later, on Christmas Eve morning, two miles south of 
where Judo let the bundle fall into the sea, two young women, Do- 
rene Racouillat and Sara Scott, were walking Dorene's dog on the 
beach at the foot of Pacheco Street. They found the bundle washed 
up on the beach. The yellow twine, fashioned into a net, had held 
during the bundle's roll down the embankment, subsequent plunge 
into the sea, and tumultuous journey down two miles of rocky, 
sandy coastline; but the tarpaulin had folded away in places and 
there were tears and rips in the plastic. One such rip was triangular, 
about four inches in length along each side. Through the hole, the 
two young women could see the unmistakable sight of hairy human 
flesh with a streak of matted blood across it. 

The police were called. Officers John Hanifin and Max Schenk 
responded. As soon as they saw what the bundle contained, they 
summoned the various persons who were required at the scene: 
Lieutenant Mikulik and Sergeant O'Connor, to take charge of the 
physical area; Hicks of the Photo Lab to take the gory pictures; 
Jackson of the Crime Lab to look for physical evidence; Arm- 
strong and McKenna of Homicide; and Dr. Jindrich of the coron- 
er's office to pronounce the victim dead. The latter was only a for- 

The bundle was eventually moved downtown to the coroner's 
office. More gory photographs were taken. Then the morgue atten- 
dants began the worst job of all: the unwrapping of the bundle. 
What they found was ghastly. 

The body was without head, hands, or feet. The head had been 
severed at the base of the neck, the hands just above the wrist- 
bone, the feet just above the ankles. Both arms were held in place 
at the sides of the torso by wire. The knees had been drawn up to 
the chest and also bound in place by wire. The lower abdomen had 
been cut open from hipbone to hipbone; intestines and other inter- 
nal organs had spilled forth from the gaping wound. It was a sight 
that even the most hardened morgue attendant would remember 
for a long time to come. 



There was no way to identify the body: no marks,scars, tattoos, 
or anything else that might offer a clue. And of course no latent 
prints, dental work, or anything of that nature — not unless the oth- 
er parts of the body were found. Or unless a missing persons report 
turned up, or someone came forward who would recognize what 
there was of the remains. 

In the interim, the body was listed as John Doe #169. 

At the end of Day Sixty-five, there were thirteen victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, shot in the face at close range. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, surviving, after having his lungs, spleen, and kid- 
ney ripped apart by bullets. 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death 
as she walked down the street. 

Ilario Bertuccio, gunned down in the street as he walked home 
from work with a bottle of 7-Up under his arm. 

Angela Roselli, surviving but seriously injured after being shot 
down in the street as she was returning home from a Christmas 

Neal Moynihan, shot down in the street on his way home with a 
Teddy bear for his little sister. 

Mildred Hosier, shot down in the street as she walked toward 
her bus stop. 

And John Doe #169, kidnapped, horribly tortured, decapitated, 
his hands and feet butchered off, bundled up like a turkey, and 
thrown into the sea. 


Day 101 

Between Christmas and New Year's, victim number seven visit- 
ed victim number ten in the hospital. 

Angela Roselli was lying in her hospital bed, bored to distrac- 
tion. For a person who had as little interest in a full and active life 
as Angela appeared to have, one would have thought that confine- 
ment to a hospital room would have suited her just fine. It did not. 
The mainstay of hospital patients was daytime TV and reading. 
Angela did not care for the former and detested the latter. She had 
been raised in a Catholic household and attended parochial schools 
where the nuns insisted on students maintaining a high level of 
reading proficiency. Angela had grown to hate reading at a very 
early age. When she grew to adulthood, she chose almost never to 
read. Most times it would not have mattered to her whether she 
even knew how to read. If she had been able to transfer her reading 
ability to, say, Manuel Moore, she probably would not have missed 
it at all. 

From her hospital bed, she looked up to see a smiling, olive-com- 
plexioned man in the doorway. "Are you Angela Roselli?" he 



"Yes. Who are you?" 

He came in, smiling more broadly, walking as if he might have a 
sprained ankle or a hernia. "I'm Art Agnos," he said. "I under- 
stand that we belong to the same club." 

Angela frowned. "I don't understand." 

"According to the police, we were both shot with the same gun. 
Maybe even by the same guy." 

"Oh, yeah," she said in sudden comprehension. "You're the 
fellow who was shot in the Potrero Hill district a few weeks ago." 

"That's me. How are you getting along?" 

Her expression did not change. "Not too hot," she replied in the 
same neutral tone she used whether talking of friend or foe, right 
or wrong, life or death. "My spine is damaged. They think I will be 
able to walk again, but nobody will say how long it will take. I'll 
have to have a couple of operations first, I guess. How are you?" 

"Surprisingly well, considering. They removed my spleen, but 
everything else is in place and functioning. Kidneys seem to be 
okay. And they got the bullet out of my lung." 

"I had a lung wound too," Angela said. "In fact, I had a col- 
lapsed lung." 

"That's always an experience," Agnos said wryly. "Much 

"Not as long as they kept the morphine coming." 

"How about now: you have pain anywhere else?" 

"Oh, sure. Knife-slicing pains in my legs all the time. I'm still on 
the morphine." 

"Have they told you how long you'll be in here?" 

"I'm going to be transferred to Kaiser Hospital pretty soon. I 
don't know how long I'll be there. Quite a while, probably." 

Agnos nodded. "Well, it could be worse, I guess. We could both 
be dead." 

"That's right. I guess we belong to a second club too. A pretty 
exclusive one. The survivors' club." 

"That's for sure." 

A silence came over them for a moment as they both thought of 
the people they knew of who had not been as lucky as they. Their 
eyes met and held. They could not help wondering how many oth- 
ers would become members of the two clubs. 


Clark Howard 

How many more victims? 
How many more survivors? 

At the state capital in Sacramento, plans were being made in the 
Division of Law Enforcement, California Department of Justice, 
to conduct an interpolice department meeting as early as possible 
for the purpose of establishing a task force to investigate an ongo- 
ing series of execution-type killings throughout the state. For the 
purpose of obtaining budgetary approval of the plan, a presenta- 
tion was being made to department heads by Richard Walley from 
the Intelligence Analysis Unit, a group whose purpose was to 
correlate and cross-reference all known criminal activity through- 
out the state. 

"Gentlemen," said Walley, "as of last Friday there have been 
sixty-four execution-type murders in California during the past 
three calendar years. That figure is up forty-two percent since the 
last quarter, when the total was forty-five — an indication that the 
incidents are rapidly increasing. All of the victims of these inci- 
dents have been killed by shooting at close range, or by hacking 
with a machete or meat cleaver. The incidents have occurred pri- 
marily in San Francisco and the East Bay area of Oakland and 
Berkeley, as well as in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas in 
the southern part of the state. They are not exclusively limited to 
these metropolitan areas, however; there have also been incidents 
in the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. The vic- 
tims in these crimes have been exclusively white. The suspects, as 
described and identified by witnesses and survivors, have been ex- 
clusively black. 

"A large majority of the known suspects identified in these ho- 
micides have been found to be Black Muslims. There is widespread 
speculation among law enforcement personnel — including black 
police officers — that the homicides were committed as an initiation 
to a select group of Muslims. There is also a considerable depth of 
feeling that the homicides are sparked by teachings in the Muslim 
religion which are presented in such a manner as to incite hatred 
against Caucasians. The feeling is that mentally deranged or inferi- 
or blacks, upon being taught these doctrines, then go out and act 
them out in real life. 



"It is being proposed that this bureau establish a central reposi- 
tory for all information pertaining to homicides with the following 
modus operandi: hackings, unprovoked street attacks, hitchhike 
kidnappings; all unexplained homicides of a similar nature, and all 
black-perpetrator/white-victim homicides. 

"In addition, it is proposed that a meeting be held with repre- 
sentatives of all involved law enforcement agencies to discuss the 
formation of a task force for mutual investigation and cooperation 
in the termination of this statewide criminal activity." 

At the end of the presentation, several questions were asked and 
answered. After brief discussion, the budgetary item was ap- 

The meeting, which was to involve twenty-five police and 
sheriffs' departments, was scheduled to take place in Oakland, one 
of the cities most affected by the type of homicide being studied. 

The sometimes slow, but always methodical, gears of the crimi- 
nal justice system had begun to grind. 

On January 2, 1974, in a posh private club on the South Side of 
Chicago, five black men met for lunch. Well-dressed, affluent-look- 
ing, quiet and mannerly, they sat at a round table laid with crisp lin- 
en, shining silver, sparkling crystal. The table was in a room to it- 
self. After the main course was served, the waiter closed the door 
behind him as he left; he would return only when signaled to do so 
by one of the men opening the door from within. The five men were 
always accorded such privacy; it was understood that the topics 
they discussed over their meals required it. 

"I received word this morning that a problem may be developing 
at Temple Number Twenty-six in San Francisco," said one of the 
men, who was an attorney. 

"What sort of problem?" asked another, who was an adminis- 

"I'm not sure exactly. There have been a number of random 
street killings there recently — all white victims. The suspects have 
all been black — " 

"Naturally," a third man interjected. He was a public relations 

The lawyer smiled briefly. "In this case, the suspicions seem to 


Clark Howard 

be well-founded. Apparently a number of survivors and witnesses 
have described the assailants, and in every case it was a black 

"Have they caught anyone yet?" asked a fourth man at the ta- 
ble, an accountant. 

"No. But apparently the police have determined that all or most 
of the killings have been done with the same gun." 

"What has this to do with Temple Number Twenty-six?" the ad- 
ministrator asked. 

"They inquired about stopping what they term unnecessary po- 
lice patrols in the immediate neighborhood of the mosque. From 
what I gather, the police have put extra units on the streets be- 
tween dusk and dawn, and some of the executives of the mosque 
feel that this is harassment of some kind, that it may be discourag- 
ing members from attending services and meetings." 

"Are the police engaging in actual surveillance of the temple?" 
the public relations man asked. "Because if they are, we can put a 
stop to that, can't we?" 

"Yes, we could definitely put a stop to it — if we could prove they 
were doing it. Putting a place of religious worship under police sur- 
veillance is a serious matter, constitutionally speaking. In this 
case, however, I don't think they are. We have three men in the 
San Francisco Police Department — practicing Muslims — who 
cooperate with us when they can without compromising their jobs. 
One of them checked into this for us and couldn't find any formal 
surveilling going on around the mosque. I would imagine that the 
elders of Temple Number Twenty-six are just running scared." 

"Do we have any idea who these street killers are?" asked the 
accountant in a morbidly curious voice. The thought of blacks kill- 
ing whites obviously intrigued him. 

The lawyer shrugged. "Not really. There's a great deal of specu- 
lation at the mosque, of course. Some of the board seem to think 
that they may be maverick Fruit of Islam members." 

"That's a bit farfetched," the public relations man said derisive- 
ly. "The Fruit of Islam keeps a very tight check on its people. 
We've worked for years to overcome their ex-convict, gun-carry- 
ing, robotlike image. I can't see them letting it all go down the 
tubes at the hands of a few dissident members. I think they'd put a 
stop to it themselves. ' ' 



"I agree," said the administrator. "Besides, Fruit of Islam men 
would concentrate on policemen, bill collectors, loan sharks, white 
tricks out looking for black women — that sort of thing. Didn't you 
say these were random killings?" 


The public relations man shook his head slowly. "Probably some 
poor, insecure misfits heard one of our more fiery sermons, misin- 
terpreted it, and went out to do what he thought was Allah's 

"Or heard one of our more fiery sermons and did not misinter- 
pret it," the accountant said. "Some of our sermons have been 
known to be pretty specific in calling the white man a grafted 
snake. We all know that some of the things said from our pulpits 
can be pretty, ah — stimulating, shall we say." 

"We also know," said the public relations man, "that some of 
these poor black fools who resort to violence are encouraged from 
other quarters as well." 

All heads turned and looked at the fifth man at the table. He had 
said nothing throughout the entire conversation, merely listened, 
nodded, raised his eyebrows occasionally, and continued eating. 
Now he paused in his meal and used a linen napkin to wipe the neat 
Vandyke that surrounded his mouth. He smiled tolerantly as he ad- 
dressed himself to the public relations man's pointed comment. 

"We all have our own way of accomplishing our goals for Allah, 
my brother," he said firmly but without rancor. "Who is to say 
which of us is right and which of us is wrong? Only Allah Himself, 
I think." 

"That is a very narrow view," the public relations man replied 
with an edge. "The Nation's purpose is to raise the lot of American 
blacks, not reduce them to jungle animals." 

"A child must crawl before it can walk upright," said Vandyke. 

"Very sage, I'm sure. But hardly an excuse for murder." 

The accountant interjected a quick, "Right on," and added, "I 
couldn't agree more. It's time we realized that this is a business, 
not a terrorist group." 

"I'll second that," said the lawyer. "Let's start emphasizing re- 
spect for the law, whether it's the white man's law or El Allah's 
law. Criminal disobedience won't get us anywhere." 

"Neither will subservience," countered Vandyke. 


Clark Howard 

"All right, all right," said the administrator with a chuckle. 
"Let's not beat a dead horse, gentlemen. We all know that it isn't 
for us to decide anyway. Policy is the Master's prerogative." He 
patted his ample belly. "Someone open the door so we can order 

Arnold George Lucas* went into a combination bar-poolroom on 
Seventh Street and slid onto a stool. "Gimme a Coke and some 
sugar, Max," he said to the bartender. 

Max, a burly black ex- wrestler, put a Coca-Cola and a shaker of 
sugar on the bar. Arnold laid down a fifty-cent piece. 

"Keep the change," he said. 

"Gee, a whole fifteen cents," said Max. "Maybe I'll take the af- 
ternoon off." 

Smartass, thought Arnold as Max moved down the bar. If 
there's one thing I don't need today, it's a smartass. 

Arnold drank a third of the Coke, then poured an ample amount 
of sugar into it. Holding his thumb over the top, he shook it up, 
then drank about half of it. 

Arnold was a twenty-one-year-old black man, tall, with a natural 
Afro ^ an engaging personality, and an eighty-dollar-a-day heroin 
habit. He was drinking sugar and Coke to give him a much needed 
blast of energy to go out and pull his daily burglaries to support his 
habit. Normally in a better frame of mind, he was depressed this 
particular morning because it was cloudy and looked like rain. Ar- 
nold did not like rain. 

"Hey, baby," said one of the black pool players. "I see where 
City High lost another fucking game last night. Don't those boys 
know they supposed to throw the ball through the hoop? Not just 
hit the rim? They ain't had no team at all since you graduated." 

"You got that right," Arnold said. He had been all-city his last 
two years of high school. All-city, and in the running for half a doz- 
en college scholarships, and maybe — just maybe — a future shot at 
pro basketball. 

Then for kicks one night he tried heroin. 

♦This individual's name and identity have been altered. To identify him accurately 
could possibly jeopardize his life. 



Now Arnold was a street thief and burglar, supporting a monkey 
that ate nearly twenty-five hundred dollars' worth of shit every 

Arnold had been arrested the first time at the age of nineteen. 
The charge was trespass. He had been casing a house he intended 
to burglarize, but had not begun an entry. At the time he was 
caught, he had a stolen car parked nearby with a set of burglar 
tools in the trunk. 

In the two years following that incident, Arnold had subsequent 
arrests for auto theft, burglary and auto theft combined, and bur- 
glary alone. He was in and out of jail in San Francisco almost as 
frequently as Manuel Moore had been in San Bernardino. His life 
was a vicious, merciless circle revolving around his need for her- 
oin. Even at that moment he was facing a burglary charge for 
which he was out on bond. His trial was set for the following 

Finishing his Coke and sugar, Arnold waved at Max, who did not 
wave back, and walked out into the dull, cloudy day. Looking up at 
the sky, he hoped it would not rain. He hated climbing in and out of 
windows when the sills were wet. 

Skullcap paced the apartment, his face a mask of inner torment 
and frustration. Why, why, why did everything have to go wrong in 
his life? Why did nothing ever conclude the way he thought it 
would, the way it was projected, predicted? He had been a party to 
six stings — six! Yet he had only one — Saleem Erakat — to his cred- 
it. Rims had been on only five, and he had three stings to his credit: 
two male devils, one female. Even Yellow was ahead of him. Yel- 
low had been on three stings and had credit for three: two female 
devils, one male. All told, including Head's sting, their little group 
had eight — and he personally had only one of those. 

And I'm the one who wanted to be a Death Angels' lieutenant, 
he thought bitterly. Shit. Some lieutenant. Can't even keep up with 
the privates. The only person he was ahead of in stings was that 
motherfucker Judo — and that was only because Judo had nothing 
to his credit. That was the most galling realization of all: he shared 
the bottom of the ladder with a man who had no heart. 

Allah, Allah, Allah, where have I gone wrong? he asked — not as 


Clark Howard 

much directing his question to a deity as to himself. Skullcap was 
really not that religious; he just wanted to be somebody, in some- 
thing: he wanted respect, attention, approval, even envy if he 
could inspire it. He cared little which group he used to achieve his 
status; had he been white, he probably would have joined the Ku 
Klux Klan. So when he used the word "Allah" he did not use it as 
Yellow did, fervently, frantically; rather he used it as he did 
"man" or "motherfucker." As a figure of speech only. 

Still, Skullcap was superstitious enough about religion to hope 
for some divine intervention, whether luck or whatever, to put him 
on the right path to the fame and glory he so yearned for. He des- 
perately wanted a sign of some kind, something to show him which 
way to go next. 

He thought he found that sign one day early in January of 1974 
when, frustrated and depressed about the lack of progress in his 
life, he opened a letter he received in the mail and found it to be a 
contribution solicitation from the main mosque in New Mecca. 
Skullcap read it briefly; he had no intention of sending them any 
money. But there was something about the solicitation that in- 
trigued him: the picture of the Chicago mosque on the pamphlet en- 
closed with the letter. 

He sat and stared at that picture for a long time. New Mecca, he 
thought. Where it was at. Where everything was done, planned, 
approved, made to happen. Where the Muslim newspaper, Mu- 
hammad Speaks, was written, printed, distributed. Where the 
great Muslim ministers made pilgrimages to see the face of Elijah 
Muhammad and hear the voice of Allah spoken through his holy 

New Mecca. Where, Skullcap thought craftily, if a man played 
his cards just right, saw the right man, made himself known in just 
the right way, he might still work his way into something. 

But was it worth the gamble? he wondered. Worth the time, the 
expense? He would be taking a big chance, maybe all for nothing. 

Putting the letter down, Skullcap crossed the room and looked at 
himself in a mirror. He kept his face cool, hard, unsmiling. He 
studied his countenance. After a moment, he nodded. 

No question about it: he looked like a Death Angels' lieutenant. 

That made up his mind. 

He would go to New Mecca. 



* * * 

On a Monday night in mid-January, Arthur Agnos returned to 
the Potrero Hill district. He came back to attend a meeting to elect 
board members of the group attempting to obtain a new neighbor- 
hood health clinic. 

When Agnos parked his car down the block from the meeting 
place, he noticed four husky blacks standing in front of a nearby 
building. Easy now, he told himself. What happened before was a 
once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just because a black shit you, 
doesn't mean that every black in San Francisco is out to get you. 
Just relax. 

As casually as possible, Agnos got out of his car, locked it, and 
started up the block. As he did, the four blacks came across the 
street toward him. Agnos felt a sudden urge to run — but he quickly 
put it down. He was a reasonable man; he told himself that such an 
urge was foolish. But he could not help remembering the punchlike 
feeling of the bullets entering his back, could not help remembering 
the pain of the ensuing weeks as his damaged body healed. 

Even with those memories, however, Agnos knew he would not 

He stopped and waited for the four blacks to walk up to him. 

"Mr. Agnos," one of them said, "we're your escort." 

"My escort?" 

"That's right. We're going to walk around with you tonight. We 
want to show anybody who's looking that when you come into this 
neighborhood, you come as a friend. And that nobody better ever 
mess with you again. That okay with you?" 

Agnos shrugged. "If you think it's necessary." 

"We think it is," the black man said. "The hate has got to stop 
someplace. Maybe this will be the place." 

Agnos nodded slowly. "Maybe it will." 

The white man and his four black friends walked down the street 

Skullcap felt like a million dollars as he strutted down the con- 
course to board the big TWA jet for Chicago. He had never flown 
before but he was not in the least nervous. This was living. He had 
on his best suit, cleaned and pressed; his shoes were shined; he 
was wearing a new shirt and tie: in all, he looked as good — or — bet- 


Clark Howard 

ter than any of the Fruit of Islam members who were supposed to 
be such hot shit. Add to it that he was carrying a brand-new vinyl 
briefcase, and he guessed that he really must look good. 

"Hello," said the stewardess as she took his boarding pass and 
tore off the seating stub for him. "Seat 17-B," she added, then 
turned to the next passenger. 

Skullcap followed the other passengers down the aisle. He went 
too far and another stewardess had to direct him back to the proper 
row. Then he sat in the wrong seat, the window seat, and had to be 
asked to move into the middle. 

It took a moment for Skullcap to realize that he was going to be 
sitting between two white men for the entire flight. He had not 
known that the seating configuration was three and three, and it 
had not even occurred to him to consider who his seating compan- 
ion — or companions — might be. All he had been able to think about 
was that at last he was on his way to New Mecca, on his way to be- 
ing somebody. He had been given a sign and he was on his way. It 
did not matter that he was going uninvited and would arrive unex- 
pected, that it was costing him all of the little money he had saved 
and all he could borrow, that, basically, he was going to the main 
mosque to try and get credit — and a position of authority — for the 
collective accomplishments of others. It did not even matter that 
he was not a devout believer in the Nation of Islam, that almost 
any group or organization could have substituted for it. All that 
mattered was that he was. going. 

And if he had to sit squeezed between two white devils for the 
entire flight, so be it. Skullcap smiled to himself. There was one 
amusing consolation to it. The two white devils would certainly be 
shocked if they could see the contents of his briefcase. It contained 
color photographs of white devils who had been stung. 

In the San Francisco area that January of 1974, five diverse peo- 
ple, none of whom knew each other, were carrying on their respec- 
tive lives. 

Tana Smith, age thirty-two, was living alone in her neat little 
apartment at 2908 California Street, and working as a secretary in 
the Scientific Development Division of the Bechtel Corporation. 
Tana — who pronounced her name Tay-na — had been feeling extra 



good lately. For a long time she had been plagued with a weight 
problem; extra desserts, an extra drink now and then, had taken 
their toll on her naturally wnslim young figure, and before she knew 
it she was far too heavy and felt unattractive, dumpy. But a con- 
centrated effort on her part over some long, difficult months had 
brought her to the point where she could skip that dessert and de- 
cline not only the extra drink but the first one also. She had 
slimmed down almost to her normal weight again and was feeling 
good, looking good. It was a pleasure these mornings to look at 
herself in the mirror and not think: Oh, God! Now, as she parted 
her brown hair in the middle and brushed a shine to it, she often 
saw a smile on her pert, pixielike face. 

Now that she was not brooding about her weight any longer, 
Tana was making happy plans. She was going to plan a visit to see 
her mother and stepfather in Florida. She was going to moonlight 
again as an usherette at the Opera House; she dearly loved the op- 
era. She was going to buy some material and start making clothes 
again; she was a marvelous seamstress and thoroughly enjoyed 

In short, Tana Smith intended to start enjoying life again. Enjoy- 
ing it with zest and vigor. 

Fifteen city blocks away from Tana Smith, at 709 Scott Street, 
lived Vincent Wollin. A craggy-faced, amiable man of sixty-eight, 
Wollin was a retired Coast Guardsman and, later, cabinetmaker. 
He lived in a small, private boardinghouse with six other men and 
one woman. His pleasures in life were simple: every day he rode 
the bus to St. Vincent de Paul's recreation room, where he played 
dominoes and shot pool with anyone who happened to be around. 
Later, he would go have coffee and doughnuts somewhere. Except 
for the evening meal at the boardinghouse, Wollin practically lived 
on coffee and doughnuts, a diet he not only was very fond of, but 
which fit very nicely into his retirement budget. After he ate, Wol- 
lin often walked over to City Hall and sat for a while feeding the pi- 

As far as Vincent Wollin was concerned, he had a good life. He 
was a solitary man but not lonely, lived modestly but not uncom- 
fortably, and, as he approached his sixty-ninth birthday later in the 
month, was healthy, active, spry, and full of the capacity to enjoy 


Clark Howard 

life thoroughly in his retirement years. He had known some men 
who were almost driven crazy by the relative inactivity of retire- 
ment. But not he. Vincent Wollin liked it. He hoped he lived 
twenty more years. 

Two miles from where Vincent Wollin lived, a man fifteen years 
his senior had a small room. His name was John Bambic and he 
lived alone in a lower-class, semicommercial neighborhood. He 
was a toothless old man with tufts of wispy white hair growing far 
back on his head. He had the watery, rheumy eyes and dottering 
lower jaw of the very old, but he was an unusually strong man for 
his age, and he appeared husky in the layers of clothes he wore — 
undershirt, shirt, sweater, coat, overcoat — so that none of the 
punks who hung out on South Ninth Street ever bothered him. 

Bambic was strictly a loner. As with so many San Franciscans, 
no one knew where he came from, what he had been earlier in life, 
or what, if anything, he was hiding from. He kept totally to him- 
self, spoke to no one unless spoken to first, and never engaged in 
personal discussions of any kind. He dressed shabbily in clothes 
that looked as worn as his aged face, and supplemented his Social 
Security income by prowling in trash bins for anything of meager 
worth that might bring him twenty-five or fifty cents: a sitack of dis- 
carded but still current magazines, empty bottles that had deposits 
on them, still serviceable wearing apparel that some wino might 
buy, anything. A lot of people considered John Bambic a derelict 
and would have nothing to do with him. But he had something most 
people did not: complete independence and freedom. Which he ob- 
viously valued very highly. 

Another person in San Francisco at that time who valued inde- 
pendence was a woman named Jane Holly. At the age of forty-five, 
Jane had worked long and hard, with her husband George, to reach 
a plateau in life where they owed nothing to anyone. One of four- 
teen children born to a St. Louis family during the Depression, 
Jane could well remember when times were hard: when money was 
short, food was rationed to the plate, clothes were mended and re- 
mended. In a family that large, it was a case of constantly making 

But that was all past for Jane Holly. She had worked for Wells 
Fargo Bank for fifteen years; George had been a Gray Line tour 



guide for the same length of time. They were not burdened with a 
large family: their one son, Stephen, was grown and gone: at 
twenty-three, he was in the army, stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 
married to a lovely girl named Paula Louise. What Jane and George 
earned now, they could spend on themselves exclusively. 

Jane Holly looked forward to her middle years, looked forward 
to the comfort they would bring. She delighted in making plans for 
the future: things to do, things to buy, places to go. Her joy when 
she shared those plans with someone was total — and always em- 
phasized by a bright, infectious smile. In January she was already 
making plans for the celebration of their twenty-fifth wedding anni- 
versary. It was not until April 3, more than two months away, but 
that did not matter to Jane. The earlier she started planning, the 
more fun it was. 

The last of the five people was a young woman named Roxanne 
McMillian. A quite pretty Sally Struthers type, twenty-three years 
old, Roxanne was one of eleven children born to the Schumacher 
family, formerly of South Dakota. She was married to Alan John 
McMillian and they were the parents of a new baby boy, Leon, 
born three months earlier. For a while they had been buying a small 
home in Cupertino, some fifty miles south of San Francisco, but re- 
cently they had found a purchaser for it and were in the final stages 
of selling it. John, as Roxanne called her husband, had found a job 
as a shoe salesman and the little family was moving up to the city. 
They did not have a place to live yet, but John was looking for one 

Roxanne hoped that her husband would find a nice place for 
them to live. She had liked the little home they owned in Cuper- 
tino; it was a shame they could not keep it. But there were no em- 
ployment opportunities for John that far away from the city, and it 
took too long and was too expensive to commute. Anyway, they 
would be better off without a big mortgage payment hanging over 
their heads. In an apartment, they would not have the upkeep of a 
house and all the attendant expenses. They would be able to budget 
themselves better, which was important now that they had a baby. 

Still, Roxanne hoped that John would find them a nice place. It 
was not going to be easy adjusting to life in the city. A pleasant 
apartment could make all the difference in the world. 


Clark Howard 

So Roxanne McMillian waited to see what the end of January 
would bring. And life went on for her, and for Jane Holly, for John 
Bambic, for Vincent Wollin, and for Tana Smith. 

Five diverse people, scattered about the Bay Area like trees in a 
big forest, with nothing in common except the forest, and nothing 
to draw the paths of their lives together except fate and tragedy. 

At the mosque in Chicago, Skullcap was being shuttled from one 
person to the next because no one could figure out exactly who or 
what he wanted, and Skullcap was not about to come right out and 
say — not unless he was certain he was talking to the proper person. 

"Perhaps if you could tell me who in our San Francisco Mosque 
sent you?" one of the male secretaries asked. 

"I told you, nobody sent me," Skullcap replied impatiently. "I 
have come on my own to see the person in charge of promotions." 

"What kind of promotions?" 

"Promotions to lieutenant." 

The secretary frowned. He was a very light young Negro, lighter 
even than Yellow. "Lieutenant of whatV he asked in growing irri- 
tation. Skullcap did not answer. The secretary rolled his eyes to- 
ward the ceiling. "Look, I cannot keep sending you to every ex- 
ecutive in the place," he warned. "You've already been to our 
membership director and to our special organizations director. 
Both of them sent you back to me because they couldn't figure out 
what you were talking about or what you wanted. I can't figure it 
out either. Now I'm afraid if you can't state specifically what your 
business is, you'll just have to leave." 

"Let me see the Honorable Elijah Muhammad then," Skullcap 

"That is quite impossible," the secretary replied, aghast. "His 
Excellency grants audiences only on very special occasions." 

"This is a special occasion," said Skullcap. 

"Oh? And what precisely is special about it?" 

Skullcap leaned across the desk and lowered his voice. "It in- 
volves the deaths of a number of grafted snakes." 

The secretary looked at Skullcap as if he were insane. He shook 
his head emphatically. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I couldn't possi- 
bly request an audience for you. Perhaps if you wrote us a let- 



"Letter! Letter! I come all this way and you tell me to write a let- 
ter!" He began to tremble in anger, and pointed a threatening finger 
at the light-skinned young Negro. "You will be sorry for this ! Hear 
me? You will be sorry !" 

Skullcap turned and stalked away from the desk and out of the 
building. Without regard to traffic — fortunately there was none — 
he strode across the street and whirled back around to glare at the 
mosque from the opposite sidewalk. He did not know how long he 
stood there before he heard a familiar voice. 

"Having some trouble, are you?" 

Skullcap looked around and saw the man with the Vandyke 

"There's a coffee shop up the street," Vandyke said. "Come 
along and I'll buy you something to eat. We can talk." 

Two hours later, Skullcap was on a city bus riding back to 
O'Hare. His briefcase was on his knees, empty. His plane ticket 
was in his pocket, a return reservation confirmed by Vandyke from 
the pay phone in the coffee shop. There was an expression of con- 
fusion and disappointment on Skullcap's dark face. He was return- 
ing to San Francisco with the same status he had when he left: sim- 
ply a candidate for Death Angel wings — no more, no less. 

"I certainly admire your spirit in making the long journey to 
New Mecca on your own initiative," Vandyke had told him. They 
had been sitting in a quiet, isolated rear booth. "I must say, how- 
ever, that I wish you had waited until my next visit to your area and 
had consulted me about it. I could have counseled you there in San 
Francisco; after all, that is my job. We could have saved you the 
plane fare and the trouble of, ah — borrowing these photographs. 
Incidentally, I want you to leave these with me, if you don't mind. 
Since no one knows you borrowed them, it won't matter, will it? 
No, of course it won't. 

"Now, then, about this proposal of yours that you be promoted 
to the rank of lieutenant among the Death Angels' candidates — 
well, I'm afraid it simply cannot be done. In the first place, no such 
rank exists; all Death Angel candidates have equal status until their 
respective wings are earned. Secondly, I'm sure you realize that if 
such a rank did exist, it would have to be awarded to the brother 
among the candidates who was at the forefront of the others: the 


Clark Howard 

brother who was setting the best example, who was leading the 
way: the brother who was serving as an inspiration to the others. 
That brother, I'm afraid, would not be you, my boy. From what 
you've told me, you appear to personally have had very bad luck in 
your quest for Death Angels' wings. I know how great your desire 
is to lead, and I commend you for it: to want to lead is a noble am- 
bition. But for now I would have to counsel you to first achieve 
your wings; first show everyone that you can do what is basically 
required of you. Then show that you can move to the forefront as a 
leader." Vandyke had looked down at the photographs and accom- 
panying newspaper clippings. "This is simply not enough, my 
boy," he added quietly. "More will have to be done. Much, much 

On the bus going back to the airport, Skullcap reheard the words 
over and over in his head. More will have to be done. Sitting in the 
back of the bus, the empty briefcase on his knees, his expression 
gradually changed from confusion and disappointment to depres- 
sion, and then — as he reviewed Vandyke's counsel — to anger. 
More will have to be done. 

All right, he finally told himself. If that is how it must be, then 
that is how it will be. More will be done. 

Grimly, he stared into space. And he thought: The streets of San 
Francisco be soon run with blood. 

Arnold Lucas sat slumped down behind the wheel of an old ja- 
lopy on the parking lot of the Hall of Justice. He had the rearview 
mirror adjusted to that he could see any car that pulled onto the lot, 
and the sideview mirror adjusted so that he could see anyone ap- 
proaching his car on foot. His junkie eyes kept darting from mirror 
to mirror. He was waiting for two dudes who wanted to buy some 

Arnold frequently sold burglarized merchandise from his car to 
people whom he had meet him on the Hall of Justice parking lot. 
That particular place was as. safe as any he had ever found. Hun- 
dreds of creepy, suspicious-looking people paraded there every 
day: to go to court, to visit the jail, to give statements to the police, 
to meet lawyers or bail bondsmen. Hundreds of people — all of 
them weird in one way or another. No one was likely to notice a 
few more weird ones. 



Besides, Arnold never stayed on the lot very long. Because he 
had a heavy drug habit — he shot four dime bags of heroin, at ten 
dollars a bag, twice every twenty-four hours — he rarely had the 
time or the patience to haggle about price. If it was four o'clock 
and he had to connect for his shit and fix himself by five, he would 
take fifty dollars for a color TV when he might have been able to 
get a hundred. 

Most people who bought from Arnold knew about his eighty-dol- 
lar-a-day habit and thought he was an asshole. They cheated him 
any way they could. It was a common joke in the South of Mission 
District that Arnold would have sold his sister any afternoon for 
fifty bucks, but if you wanted to wait until evening when he was in 
a hurry, you could get her for ten. 

Sitting on the lot now, his eyes darting from mirror to mirror, he 
mentally inventoried the guns he had for sale. There were two Sat- 
urday night specials, neat, little, chrome-plated .22-caliber revolv- 
ers; one .25-caliber automatic; and two .38 snub-nosed pieces that 
the street people called "bulldogs." And one he almost forgot 
about: a .32 Beretta automatic. Most of the weapons he had stolen 
in various apartment and store burglaries; the Beretta he had 
bought from a guy for thirty bucks, knowing he could turn a fair 
profit on it. 

Arnold's eyes flicked to the rearview mirror as a black Cadillac 
pulled onto the lot. It parked nearby and two black men got out and 
walked toward him. One of them had droopy eyes and was wearing 
a scarred brown-and-yellow warm-up jacket whose school colors 
Arnold vaguely remembered. Arnold had known Droopy Eyes for 
a number of years; in the past six months he had sold him three .32- 
caliber pistols, one .38, and one .357 Magnum. 

Arnold did not recognize the second man; he was tall and lean, 
and he walked with a slight swagger, a hint of a strut. His expres- 
sion was ordinary enough, but there was something distinctly dan- 
gerous about his eyes. A bad dude, Arnold thought. 

"Greetings, brother," his friend said as the two men walked up 
to the car. 

"What you in the market for?" Arnold asked without prelimi- 
nary. He did not go for that "Greetings, brother" shit. As far as he 
was concerned, the fucking Muslims were all crazy. Didn't smoke 
pot, didn't shoot H, didn't bang white cunt. Crazy. 


Clark Howard 

"We want to buy a lightweight piece," his friend said. 

"I got a couple of twenty-twos, a twenty-five, and a thirty-two," 
Arnold told him. 

"Are the twenty-twos automatics?" 

Arnold shook his head. "Revolvers. The twenty-five and the 
thirty-two are automatics." 

"Let's see them." 

Arnold opened the trunk and let the two men examine the pistols 
while he kept a close watch on any movement on the lot. 

"How much for the thirty-two?" his friend asked. 

That was the one Arnold had bought from a guy for thirty dol- 
lars. "Fifty-five," he said without hesitation. "It's a nice cold 
piece; couldn't be traced in a million years." 

The friend looked at the other man with him. The other man 
shrugged, embarrassed. "All's I got is forty." 

"I'll lend you the other fifteen, brother. You want the piece?" 

"Yeah, man." 

"Then I'll lend you the other fifteen." 

"Hey, thanks, brother. I won't forget it." 

"We'll take the thirty-two," Arnold's friend said to him. 

The money and the gun changed hands, and the two buyers 
walked quickly back to the black Cadillac. Arnold put the fifty-five 
dollars with forty-five more he already had, making an even hun- 
dred. He drove off the lot, figuring five dollars for a meal, five dol- 
lars toward his past due rent, and eighty dollars for his fixes. That 
left him with a ten-dollar head start toward tomorrow's fix. 

And that was about as close as Arnold George Lucas ever came 
to getting ahead of life. 

On the night of January 28, 1974, J. C. Simon led a strutting 
group of black friends to the Winterland Auditorium to watch a 
closed circuit telecast of the second Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier 
heavyweight fight. This was a return match from a bout Ali had lost 
in March 1971, nearly three years earlier, when he had returned to 
the ring after his long layoff for refusing to be drafted into the 
army. Joe Frazier had become champion during that time, and Ali 
tried to wrest the crown from him. It was a losing effort; Frazier, 
strong and tough, dropped him in round fifteen and won a unani- 



mous decision. Now Frazier had lost his title to big George Fore- 
man, and he and Ali were matched in a twelve-round return bout 
billed for the American Heavyweight Title. The winner would like- 
ly get a shot at Foreman for the world title. 

With J.C. that night, among others, were Manuel Moore and An- 
thony Harris. Anthony, who had not been anywhere with his co- 
workers from Black Self Help since Christmas, was along this par- 
ticular evening only because everyone had gone directly from work 
to the auditorium; the fight was starting early on the West Coast be- 
cause of the three-hour time difference from Madison Square Gar- 
den, where it was taking place. 

At Winterland, the group of blacks found Larry Green and sev- 
eral others selling the Muslim newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, 
outside the auditorium. "You brothers grab a handful and start 
selling," Larry said, pointing to a stack of papers up against the 

"Sure thing," replied the affable Manuel Moore, always eager to 
help anyone do anything. 

"No, come on, man, we going to the fight," J.C. said irritably. 

"Yeah, we not down here to sell papers," said Anthony. It was 
one of the few times he and J.C. had ever agreed about anything. 

"We're all going to the fight, brother," Larry replied coolly. 
"That don't mean we can't sell some papers for the Nation first." 
Larry's jaw was set, his eyes fixed. Sometimes, for one so young, 
he could be fiercely determined. The difference between Larry's 
devotion to Islam, and the devotion of J.C, Manuel, and Anthony, 
was clear: J.C. ran hot and cold, depending on the circumstance; 
Manuel was led into the faith without really understanding it; and 
Anthony merely used it, for security, friendship, acceptance; but 
Larry's dedication was total, fanatical, inflexible: Larry believed. 

"Islam comes first," he said now, flatly, unyielding. "The fight 
comes second." 

J.C. and Anthony reluctantly took a few papers and started mov- 
ing through the arriving crowd, hawking. Every third or fourth 
black man bought a copy, maybe every tenth or twelfth white man. 
A lot of people — of both colors — tossed them into wastebins once 
they got inside. 

After a few minutes, J.C. and Anthony went back to Larry and 


Clark Howard 

protested any further sales effort. "Come on, man, we gots to get 
inside. These seats ain't reserved, you know. It's catch-as-catch- 
can. All the good seats gonna be gone if we don't be getting in 

Larry finally conceded. The leftover papers were locked in the 
trunk of somebody's car and the group of young black men hurried 
inside to see their idol, Muhammad Ali, adopted son of the Master, 
Elijah Muhammad, fight the only man who had ever beaten him. 
They were unanimous in their belief that Allah would guide Ali to 

And revenge. 

Elsewhere in the city, other people were unconcerned about the 
Ali-Frazier fight. 

Tana Smith, feeling good about her lost weight, had decided to 
begin making some new clothes. She told her girlfriend, Nancy Lo- 
baugh, about her plans when she talked to her on the phone. 

"I'm going to a fabric shop tonight and get some material to 
make a few blouses. Maybe some skirts too." 

Nancy was happy for her friend; she knew about her personal 
problems, knew what she had gone through to get herself in shape 
again. She had known Tana for fourteen years, since they were 
college freshmen together in Kentucky. It had been Tana's fervent 
love of and praise for San Francisco that had convinced Nancy to 
move to the West Coast. Both young women had been there ever 

After Tana finished talking to Nancy on the phone, as she was 
getting ready to go out she recalled a conversation that day with a 

"Aren't you afraid to go out alone at night, Tana?" the co-work- 
er asked. "The way those niggers have been shooting white people 
on the street?" 

"Of course not," Tana had replied in a cool tone. "And I really 
don't appreciate the use of the word 'nigger.' If you mean 'Negro,' 
please pronounce it properly." 

The co-worker had been piqued at Tana. After all, Tana was a 
Southerner. But Tana Smith could not have cared less about the 
woman's pique. Tana was her own person. She had believed in and 



spoken out for the civil rights of blacks long before it became fash- 
ionable to do so. If anyone wanted to discuss blacks with her, they 
would do it in proper, acceptable terms. "Nigger" was not such a 

For Vincent Wollin, January 28 had been a good day. It was his 
sixty-ninth birthday and he had stayed out all day to celebrate it. 
He had left his board inghouse, wearing his favorite old knit watch 
cap from his Coast Guard days, at 9:30 that morning, and all day 
long he had done just exactly what he wanted to do. He had 
stopped for coffee and doughnuts not once but three times, in three 
different places. He had walked around downtown and looked in 
all the store windows. He had sat in the sunshine in Union Square 
and watched the people coming and going. Shot some pool with a 
total stranger in a pool hall south of Mission — and felt sorry for all 
the winos and derelicts he saw on the street down there. Thank 
God he wasn't in a predicament like that; thank God for his service 
pension and Social Security. It might not be much, but it kept him 
from wearing rags and sleeping in doorways at night. 

As the day progressed, Vincent ambled over to St. Vincent de 
Paul's, as was his almost daily custom. He played dominoes with 
another old-timer who frequented the rec room. When he grew 
tired of that, he went down to City Hall to feed the pigeons. Vin- 
cent deluded himself that he could recognize certain individual 
birds in the flock, and that they depended on him for daily food. A 
few of them he called by name — names he had given them, names 
of men who had been his friends long ago at sea: Sam, Harry, 
Dutch, Cookie. 

When it got on toward time for the Civic Center workers to quit 
for the day, Vincent caught a Van Ness bus and rode to the Wharf. 
He walked down to Aquatic Park and sat on a bench looking out at 
the bay. The winter water was sparkling from the last rays of the 
sun shooting under the superstructure of the regal Golden Gate 
Bridge. Vincent put on the tan raincoat he had carried all day, and 
turned up the collar against the evening chill. It had been a fine day, 
this sixty-ninth birthday of his. It really was not as bad growing old 
as some people thought. Idly, Vincent wondered how much longer 
he would live. 


Clark Howard 
* * * 

Old John Bambic started making his rounds of the trash bins 
about six o'clock in the evening. Most everything had been 
dumped by then and the winos had not yet begun their scavenging. 
Bambic had learned early on in the game of survival that if a man 
wanted to pick up anything at all of value in the area south of Mis- 
sion, he had to beat the winos to the trash bins. Particularly in the 
wintertime, when the evenings got cool early. 

Bambic usually started on Seventh around Minna or Natoma 
streets and worked his way up and down: up the street, down the 
alley, over a block, then start again at the next corner. He carried a 
cardboard box with him, the sturdiest one he could find early in the 
evening. On this particular evening it was a beer carton which had 
previously held twenty-four twelve-ounce bottles of Coors. 

Bambic concentrated mostly on the trash bins behind buildings 
that had rooms or apartments above the stores. The larger bins 
used by cocktail lounges and liquor stores were cleaner to rum- 
mage through, but there was seldom much to be found in them; 
people in stores did not often discard anything of value. But people 
who lived on the upstairs floors, that was a different story. They 
would throw away anything that they did not want to be bothered 
with: bottles with deposits on them; small articles of wearing ap- 
parel that only needed mending to be serviceable again; larger 
items of clothing that did not fit any longer; practically new maga- 
zines and paperback books; an occasional clock or toaster that 
needed only minor repairs; shops that would be like new with half 
soles and heels; and dozens of other items that to one person were 
worthless, but to another had the potential of at least meager value 
and profit. 

There were secondhand dealers in every kind of merchandise 
imaginable all over the South of Mission District, and John Bambic 
knew them all. Nightly he prowled the streets and alleys, collecting 
booty to be recycled into the skid row economy. 

He was eighty-four years old, born a decade and a half before 
the turn of the century; he had been sixteen when San Francisco 
had been destroyed by the great earthquake; he had lived through 
the Spanish- American War, World War One, World War Two, Ko- 
rea, Vietnam. Seen the coming of electricity and the automobile, 
and watched America grow from adolescence to adulthood. 



All to scavenge for junk in the trash bins of San Francisco in his 
twilight years. 

At the Holly residence, George had gone to his Masonic lodge 
meeting, and his wife Jane was sorting laundry. Jane usually did 
the laundry at the Lightning Coin Launderette, a block away on 
Silver Avenue. She tried to do it when George had something else 
planned, so they could both be out at the same time. There was no 
sense in either of them having to stay home alone if it was not nec- 

As Jane Holly separated the clothes into two small piles — whites 
and coloreds — she thought about her son Steve, in the army in 
Oklahoma. He was a tall, good-looking young man, wearing a mus- 
tache like her husband did; in fact, strongly resembling George in 
every way, with none of her features at all. One would think there 
would have been a little of her in him, somewhere. Oh, well. 
Maybe the grandchildren, she resigned herself. 

When Jane finished with the laundry, she checked the time. 
George would not be home until around ten. That gave her plenty 
of time to walk over and get the laundry done. She put the two bun- 
dles of clothes into a net laundry bag. There was not too much to 
do this week; in fact, there was never much to do anymore, now 
that she and George were alone. 

Putting on her coat and picking up the evening paper, Jane Holly 
left the house carrying the net laundry bag and walked over to Sil- 
ver Avenue. The Laundromat was brightly lighted as always; it 
never closed, and there were nearly always customers in the place. 
On this night there were a dozen people there when Jane arrived. 
Most of them were women; all of them were black. Not too many 
whites walked over from her side of Silver Avenue to do their 
clothes there; most of them preferred to go farther away and pa- 
tronize an establishment that was not almost exclusively black. But 
Jane Holly had no qualms about going to the Lightning. She treated 
everyone decently, be they white or black, and all she asked from 
anyone was to be treated decently in return. 

Jane put her laundry into two machines, fed change into them, 
and started the wash cycle. Then she got a can of grape soda from a 
vending machine and sat down at one of the tables to wait. She 
opened the paper and began to read a section. 


Clark Howard 

Presently a stocky black man wearing glasses came over and sat 
across from her. "May I?" he asked politely, indicating the part of 
the paper that Jane was not reading. 

"Help yourself," said Jane. 

Together, the white woman and the black man read the evening 

Two miles down Silver Avenue was Edinburgh Street. A block 
over from Silver, on the corner of Peru, was 102 Edinburgh. It was 
into this building that Roxanne McMillian, her husband Alan John, 
and their four-month-old son Leon were moving. 

The building was disappointing. It was nowhere near as nice as 
Roxanne had hoped it would be. An older, two-story shingle struc- 
ture, it was in a generally run-down condition. Some of the shingles 
were broken off at the corners or pulled loose entirely; the two 
front doors, standing side by side, one leading upstairs to number 
100 Edinburgh, the other leading into the first-floor flat, number 
102, were scratched and scarred; five concrete steps leading up to 
the front stoop, and the slab railing of the stoop itself, had new 
stains upon old stains from unidentified spills; and the public side- 
walk for the entire width of the building was covered with spray- 
paint graffiti: "Bebop," "Robles," "Anna," others. It was along 
way from the neat rows of homes in Cupertino. 

But Roxanne was a spunky young woman. She could adjust to 
just about anything to keep her little family together and make ev- 
eryone happy. Everyone being primarily John. 

The flat, she decided with her customary optimism, was not too 
bad. Not really. There was nothing she could do about the outside 
of the building or the neighborhood, but the flat she could definitely 
fix up. It would take a lot of fixing up — but it could be done. With a 
little paint, a little wallpaper, and lots of soap and elbow grease, 
she would transform the dingy, depressing little place into a cute, 
cozy home that would be their peaceful sanctuary from the squalid 
area around them. 

With those positive thoughts firmly planted in her mind, Rox- 
anne McMillian began moving into the flat at 102 Edinburgh. 

The fight on closed-circuit TV at Winterland went the full twelve 
rounds. Muhammad Ali won it by a unanimous decision. He was 



too much for Smokin' Joe Frazier that night. In the second round 
he had Frazier reeling and in trouble; the fight might have been 
over right then but Referee Tony Perez thought he heard the bell 
and halted the action twenty seconds early. Ali was unable to get 
Frazier that close to a knockout again, but he nevertheless won a 
clear victory. And gave Muslims around the world cause to cele- 

"He did it!" Skullcap said jubilantly as he strutted out of the au- 
ditorium with Rims and Judo. "My main man did it! He whipped 
that white nigger good!" 

"I thought Frazier be tougher than that," said Rims. "He didn't 
look too tough tonight. " 

"He's tough," Judo said. "He just had an off night." 

"What kind of shit you talking, man?" Skullcap asked. "You 
supposed to be for Ali, man; he's a brother. What you talking up 
that white nigger Frazier for?" 

"I ain't talking up nobody," Judo said with an edge. "And I was 
for Ali, same as you. I just ain't putting down Joe Frazier, is all. He 
is still a tough fighter." 

"He's a chump," Skullcap said. 

"If he be a chump," Rims asked thoughtfully, "then that mean 
Ali didn't beat nobody good, don't it?" 

Judo smiled and Skullcap looked at Rims in surprise. Rims was 
not supposed to be smart enough to figure that out. Skullcap want- 
ed Frazier to be a nothing, but he wanted the win to be a great vic- 
tory for Ali. Even someone as slow as Rims knew he could not 
have it both ways. 

Judo patted Rims on his burly back. "You getting smart, broth- 
er," he said. "I'm glad to see you starting to think for yourself." 

"What's that supposed to mean?" Skullcap asked flatly. 

"It mean just what it say," Judo replied. "Seem to me there's 
too much of one person doing the thinking for another around here 
lately. I think things be a lot better if everybody think for hisself ." 

Skullcap stared coldly at Judo but said nothing. They got back to 
where the borrowed Cadillac was parked. "You drive," Skullcap 
said to Rims. Skullcap got in the front seat on the passenger side; 
Judo slid into the middle of the back seat. 

"So you think each man should do his own thinking, huh?" 
Skullcap said over his shoulder. "Okay. That sounds like a good 


Clark Howard 

deal to me. I'll think only for myself tonight. Let me see now: I 
think I shall go out and sting some devils for Allah. What about 
you?" he asked Rims. "Think for yourself now," he cautioned. 

Wiseass motherfucker, Judo thought. But Rims had already tak- 
en the bait. 

"I'll sting some too," Rims said eagerly. 

Skullcap looked around and locked eyes with Judo. "How about 
you, brother? Thinking strictly for yourself, of course. " 

"We can't go stinging," Judo said. "I lost my gun." 

"Well, now, that just don't matter none," Skullcap said with one 
of his cold, brilliant smiles. He opened the glove compartment and 
took out a .32-caliber Beretta identical to the one Judo had thrown 
into the bay. "We can use my artillery tonight," Skullcap said, 
holding up the gun. He fell silent and stared at Judo for a long mo- 
ment. Then, in an almost threatening tone, he issued the final chal- 
lenge: "You have yet to accomplish a single sting, brother. Are 
you with the Death Angels or against them?" 

Judo had no way out. 

"I'm with them," he said. 

"Drive down Geary Boulevard," Skullcap said to Rims, a 
satisfied smirk on his dark face. 

They cruised Geary. As they approached Divisadero, Skullcap 
saw a pretty white woman walking along the street. 

"Let me out," he said. Tonight, he would lead. 

He got out of the car, the words More will have to be done rever- 
berating in his head. He felt good. The gun in his hand, held close 
to his thigh, was his. The night was his. The moment was his. 

Tana Smith, six blocks from home, was on her way to the fabric 
shop. Her thoughts were probably on the type of material she 
planned to buy and the pattern of blouse she would make. There 
were so many nice styles she could wear now that she had slimmed 
down — 

Skullcap walked up behind her, raised the gun, and shot her 
twice in the back. 

Tana hit the sidewalk hard. Skullcap paused and peered down at 
her, crouching slightly, the gun smoking in his hand. Just then a 
station wagon came by. The driver slowed down and looked at 


Skullcap straightened and ran. 

The man in the station wagon, David Bienvineste, was a florist. 
He had just delivered flowers to a patient at Mount Zion Medical 
Center, two blocks away. Now, as he realized what was happen- 
ing, he was momentarily stunned. He stared at the crouching black 
man with the hat cocked to one side, revealing a shaved hairline 
that left no sideburns. Then the man saw him and ran away. 

Bienvineste gathered his senses and swung the car in a quick U- 
turn. He screeched to the curb and ran over to Tana. She was 
clutching her lower abdomen and moaning, "Oh — oh — I'm 
hurt — I'm hurting — " 

"Jesus," Bienvineste muttered, more a prayer than an oath. He 
tentatively touched Tana's shoulder. "Listen, I'll get help," he 
said nervously. "I'll get help." 

The only thing he could think of was that Mount Zion Medical 
Center was two blocks away. He started for it, running as fast as 
he could. He had completely forgotten that he had a car. 

The Cadillac moved south on Divisadero for a few blocks. Then 
Skullcap said, "There's too much traffic on this street, man. Cut 
over to a side street." 

"Right, brother," said Rims. He made a left turn and drove one 
block to Scott Street. 

"Okay, who's next?" Skullcap asked, twirling the Beretta on 
one finger like a movie cowboy. 

"Be careful with that fucking thing, man," said Judo. 

"The safety's on," Skullcap told him disdainfully. "Now who's 

"Me! I be next!" Rims said gleefully. 

"I kind of figured you might," Skullcap said, in an obvious dig at 
Judo. "Go on, pick your devil." 

"There one!" Rims said almost at once. He pointed out the win- 
dow at a short, stocky white man walking jauntily along Scott 

"Get him then," Skullcap said. "I'll slide over and drive." 

Rims stopped the Cadillac and got out. Skullcap handed him the 


Clark Howard 

Across the street, Vincent Wollin was whistling softly as he 
headed for home. It had been a very nice day, this sixty-ninth 
birthday of his. He was happy but very tired. He would certainly 
sleep well tonight — 

Rims hurried up behind him, held the gun very close to his back, 
and shot him. 

Vincent turned around, wide-eyed. He knew exactly what had 
happened. "You — you — shot me — " he said incredulously. 

"Yougotthatrightmotherfucker," Rims said. 

Vincent turned back around to walk away and Rims shot him 

David Bienvineste burst through the emergency entrance of 
Mount Zion Medical Center and rushed to the desk. "A woman's 
been shot!" he said frantically. 

"Does she have insurance?" the admitting clerk asked. 

Bienvineste stared at her. "What?" 

"Insurance. Does she have insurance?" 

"You don't understand! A woman has been shot!" 

"We can't admit anybody who doesn't have insurance," the 
clerk said. "Hospital regulations." 

Bienvineste could not believe his ears. "The woman needs 
help!" he shouted. 

"I'll call a city ambulance," the clerk said. "That's the best I 
can do. It'll be here in five or ten minutes." 

Bienvineste stared incredulously at her. Five or ten minutes? 
The woman was seconds away. She could be carried to the hospital 
on a stretcher. 

The clerk asked exactly where the woman was and began making 
the call. Bienvineste shook his head in disbelief. Then he hurried 
out and ran back down the street to see what he could do to help 
the woman until the ambulance came. 

Which, he guessed, would be five or ten minutes. 

Where Tana lay, there were already several other people around. 
A black man had found her on the sidewalk and put his rolled-up 
coat under her head in an effort to make her more comfortable. A 
Japanese woman, who had been standing in a doorway six feet 



from the attack, remained where she was, staring at the scene. And 
a very nervous, mustached young man, who was on his way to a 
nearby store to buy cigarettes, paced back and forth around the 
fallen woman as if unsure exactly what to do. 

Someone knelt beside Tana and tried to close her coat collar 
around her throat. "Don't—" Tana said thickly. "Don't—" The 
least little movement wracked her with pain. "Take — me — to — San 
Francisco General — " Her friend Nancy Lobaugh had been seri- 
ously injured in an automobile accident and had received superb 
treatment at San Francisco General. 

"What did she say?" one of the bystanders asked the nervous 
man with the mustache. 

"She said don't take her to San Francisco General," he an- 
swered unhesitatingly. 

More people were gathering now and a siren could be heard in 
the distance. Before the siren got any closer, a police unit arrived. 
Officers Ronald More hen and William Fox hurried to the victim. 
David Bienvineste ran back up and told them the hospital had sum- 
moned an ambulance. To be on the safe side, Officer Fox ordered 
another one, Code Three, through Communications. Across the 
street, a gold Cadillac parked and one of two black men got out and 
came over to the small crowd. "I suppose this is something else go- 
ing to be blamed on the crazy black people," he said sarcastically 
when he found out what had happened. No one paid any attention 
to him. 

Presently the ambulance arrived. "I'm hurting so bad," Tana 
said as they lifted her onto the gurney. 

"The poor thing," a woman in the crowd muttered. 

"I wonder if she has any children," another said. 

"If she does, I hope she gets to see them one more time." 

"Oh, I hurt — I hurt — " Tana said. The attendants slid the gurney 
into the ambulance. Seconds later it was speeding toward San 
Francisco General. 

"I saw the whole thing, Officer," said the black man from the 
gold Cadillac. "It was a white man done the shooting." 

The officers were busy looking for shell casings and securing the 
scene. Before they could respond to the black man, he stalked 
across the street, got into the gold Cadillac, and drove away. 


Clark Howard 

The officers found two spent casings. "Thirty-twos," one of 
them said pointedly. By now every policeman in San Francisco 
knew the modus operandi of the street killers. 

The nervous man with the mustache continued to pace. Things 
seemed to be moving too fast for him. This thing that had happened 
was very important. He was a witness. He seemed to think he 
should be doing something — but he did not know what. Everything 
gushed into his head at once: the woman not wanting to be taken to 
San Francisco General, the man in the gold Cadillac who had seen 
a white man do the shooting, the woman wanting to see her chil- 
dren one more time. He must try to remember all of it, he told him- 

He continued to pace nervously. 

The Cadillac, with Skullcap at the wheel, drove east on Fulton to 
the Opera House, then cruised randomly around the Civic Center. 

Rims turned in the seat and looked back at Judo. "You next 
now, brother," he said innocently, as if it were Judo's turn at some 
simple game they were playing. 

"Maybe he still ain't ready yet," Skullcap said, feigning the 
same tone of innocence with which Rims spoke. "Maybe his heart 
still ain't strong enough." 

"My heart strong as anybody's," Judo retorted, somewhat less 
than enthusiastically. 

"Good!" Skullcap said, seizing the statement. "You ready 
then!" He guided the car out of the Civic Center. "I'll just cruise 
until you see a devil you want. Say when, brother. ' ' 

Skullcap drove slowly down Tenth Street. 

The police had arrived at the scene of the Scott Street shooting. 
Officers Herman Popp and Vincent Neeson found Vincent Wollin 
lying facedown on the sidewalk. There were two bullet holes in the 
back of his raincoat; each was surrounded by powder burns. The 
officers summoned an ambulance. 

Lulu Badger, a middle-aged black woman, hurried across the 
street to the officers. "I seen it all, Officers, I seen it all!" she ex- 
claimed. "It was awful! I was waiting over there on my front porch 
for a ride to take me to church. I goes to the Saint Andrew's Bap- 



tist Church and my ride usually come about eight o'clock. I likes to 
always be ready and waiting so I don't delay nobody, you know. I 
believe when people is nice enough to give you a ride, you ought to 
be considerate enough to be ready when they gets here — " 

"Can you describe the man who did the shooting, ma'am?" 
Officer Popp interrupted. "We want to get it on the radio as quickly 
as possible." 

Lulu Badger described a black man about twenty-five years old, 
wearing a turtleneck sweater and dark trousers. While she was giv- 
ing her description, Officer Neeson searched the scene. He found 
two .32-caliber shell casings. 

When the ambulance arrived, the steward determined that Vin- 
cent Wollin was still alive. He was removed from the sidewalk and 
rushed to San Francisco General. 

"Well, what about it, man?" Skullcap said impatiently. "You 
ready or not? You got the heart or not got the heart?" 

"I got the heart, man, but I'm just taking my own good time," 
Judo said, playing a delaying game. 

"He gonna do it," Rims said supportively. "He be okay." 

Skullcap grunted softly. "He's hedging." 

"Like hell I am!" Judo snapped. 

"You are," Skullcap said easily, in a finely controlled voice. 

"Man, I said I'm not!" 

"You are." A calm, precise statement. Purposeful. Infuriating. 

"I am not!" Enraged. Insulted. Frustration mushrooming inside 

"Then prove it," Skullcap said evenly. "Prove you got the 
heart, just like we done proved that we got it." 

Judo's expression was contorted: his eyes wide, nostrils flared, 
thick lips puffed out in an angry pout. "Give me the motherfucking 
gun!" he snapped at Rims. When Rims held the gun out to him, 
Judo snatched it from his hand. "Go up that street there!" he or- 
dered, indicating Ninth Street. He was breathing in short bursts 
now, like a man having a mild asthma attack. I got as much heart as 
anybody, he thought angrily. Ain't no motherfucker gonna say I 
got no heart! No way! I am a man! 

Looking out the window, Judo saw what looked to be an old 


Clark Howard 

white derelict approaching a trash bin next to a place called Phil- 
lips' Bar and Grille. "Stop," he said to Skullcap. "Right here." 
The car stopped and Judo got out. He walked toward the white der- 

At the big trash bin, old John Bambic, holding his Coors carton 
under one arm, rummaged through the loose papers and other 
junk, looking for something of value. He hoped he would find 
something. It was getting late and, at eighty-four, Bambic was 
tired. He wanted very badly to lie down, close his old eyes, and 
rest — 

Judo walked directly up to the old man and shot him once in the 
back. Bambic pitched forward against the trash bin. Judo shot him 
again. Bambic's body jerked and turned around. 

Then the old man reached out with both hands and grabbed Judo 
around the neck. 

Judo's eyes got as big and round as silver dollars. "What the 
fuck you doing, man?" he said, surprised. He tried to pull the old 
man's hands away from his throat, but Bambic held on tenacious- 
ly. "Leave go, man!" Judo snapped. "Leave go my neck!" 

In a room overlooking the street from the second floor, Charles 
Archeletta was lying on his bed watching a TV documentary about 
the Rosenberg atomic spy trial. When he heard the two shots, he 
rushed to the window and looked down at the struggling men. 

" Ahrrr — " The sound came from old John Bambic's throat like a 
cry of vengeance. 

"Leave go!" Judo still demanded, the features of his face now 
twisted in fear. 

Walking down the street toward the struggling men was a city 
warehouseman named Richard Williams. He had heard the noise of 
the gunshot while still farther down the street and had thought they 
were firecrackers. Now, seeing the two men wrestling, he was not 
so sure. 

Judo was still holding the gun but for some reason — surprise, 
fear, panic — did not have the faculties required to shoot Bambic 
again. It did not even occur to him to strike Bambic in the head or 
face with the gun. All he could think about was getting Bambic's 
viselike fingers from around his throat — and to accomplish that he 
could think of no tactic except to pull at the old man's wrists. 



"Ahrrrr — " came the blood-chilling rattle from Bambic's throat. 
The wrinkled, toothless old face was but inches from Judo's, and 
Judo could feel and smell Bambic's warm, sour breath gushing out 
at him with every gasp the old man took. 

From the bar on the corner, two customers came out onto the 
sidewalk and looked to see what the commotion was all about. 
They stood cautiously near the lighted bar entrance and peered into 
the darkness alongside the building. 

"Leave — me — go — /" Judo said for the last time. Then he felt 
the strength draining from the old man's hands, literally felt the ca- 
blelike fingers becoming weaker by degrees, and he knew that mo- 
mentarily the desperate grip would fail and he would be free. 

When it happened, when at last the incredibly strong old hands 
slowly dropped away from his neck, Judo took an extra split sec- 
ond to glare hatefully at his victim-attacker, and to curse him. 

"You old white motherfucker!" he hissed. 

Then he ran back to the car. 

Behind him, gallant old John Bambic lost consciousness and 
slumped to the sidewalk. 

At San Francisco General, Vincent Wollin, the second person to 
be shot as the night of terror began, was the first to die. He expired 
just three hours before his sixty-ninth birthday would have been 

In another part of the big hospital's trauma unit, a team of doc- 
tors was laboring to keep Tana Smith alive. One of the bullets had 
perforated her liver. The prognosis for her survival was not good. 

Officers Douglas Dumas and James Selby were on patrol in Unit 
Three Bravo-Four when the call came in on the Bambic shooting. 
They rolled on the call at once. It was to be their third response in 
the series of street killings: they had also been the first officers on 
the scene at the Neal Moynihan killing, and the first team at the 
Mildred Hosier scene, both thirty-seven days earlier. 

The two officers were already aware of the Tana Smith and Vin- 
cent Wollin shootings. They both had a hunch that the black killers 
with the .32-caliber automatic were on a spree again. 

They were right. 


Clark Howard 
* * * 

In the Cadillac, Rims was the personification of delight. He was 
bouncing up and down on the seat and grinning from ear to ear. 
"You did it, brother!" he shouted joyfully. "You destroyed a 
white devil!" He reached back and slapped Judo smartly on the 
knee. "I told you it be easy! Didn't I tell you! I knew you could do 
it, brother!" 

In the back seat, Judo, trembling, was rubbing his neck. "That 
crazy old motherfucker like to choke me to death," he muttered. 

"Next time, don't get so close to the devil," Skullcap said. 

"Tha's right," Rims agreed. "The grafted snake be dangerous 
sometime, maybe." 

Skullcap was still driving, watching traffic carefully. They were 
on the freeway, heading south. Oddly enough, they were just pass- 
ing San Francisco General, off to their right. 

"Where to now?" Skullcap asked for suggestions. 

"I be want a female devil tonight too!" Rims said excitedly. 

Skullcap glanced at him. He heard Vandyke's words again: 
Much more will have to be done. 

"Why not, brother?" he said easily. He smiled a cold, terrible 
smile. "We rolling, so let's keep rolling." 

In the back seat, still holding the murder gun, Judo felt sick to his 

Back on Ninth Street, Central Ambulance number 81 had 
reached the scene of the Bambic shooting. Ambulance steward 
Nitschke was slowly, patiently examining the fallen man for vital 
signs. He was being very careful: with a man as old as the victim 
obviously was, a mistake was easy to make. 

Dumas and Selby had secured the scene and already found the 
two .32-caliber casings from the bullets that had hit the victim. 
They gave them to Ken Moses of the crime lab. 

"Let me guess," said Moses. "Thirty-twos, right?" 

"The man's brilliant," said Dumas. 

"A genius," agreed Selby. 

Within minutes, the shooting scene was crawling with police 
brass. Lieutenant Syme arrived from Southern Station, along with 
Sergeant Bragg. Two other district sergeants, Rider and Syming- 



ton, also showed up. A full captain, named Keel, arrived. Inspec- 
tors Gilford and Sanders were on the scene at once, as was Charles 
Ellis, the lieutenant in charge of Homicide. 

Coreris and Fotinos were there too, but they were not concern- 
ing themselves with the crime scene. They had a city map partly 
spread open between them and were trying to project where the 
killers would strike next. 

"Okay, starting at Geary and Divisadero, where the woman was 
shot," said Fotinos, "it's just about a mile south to Scott and 
McAllister, where the old guy got it." 

"Right," said Coreris. He opened another fold of the map and 
traced an imaginary line down to where they were now. "And it's 
two more miles down to here." 

"Where next?" Fotinos wondered. 

"Well, the bastards are heading south, that's obvious," said 
Coreris. "First they jump down one mile, then two miles." 

"Maybe next time three miles," said Fotinos. 


They traced another imaginary line south along the freeway. 
"Figure somewhere around Army Street or a little past," Fotinos 

"It's worth a chance," Coreris said. "Let's go." 

As the two homicide detectives slipped unnoticed away from the 
scene, Steward Nitschke officially pronounced John Bambic dead. 
The third one shot, he was the second to die that night. 

Four miles south, the black Cadillac cruised Silver Avenue. 
Skullcap was still driving. Rims, unusually elated, was scanning 
the street, looking for the next suitable devil. They passed slowly 
by the Lightning Coin Launderette. Rims saw a lone white woman 
among all the black customers. 

"There a devil in there, right in the midst of all them sisters. I'll 
destroy her." 

Skullcap threw him a cursory glance. "Too many people in 
there," he said. He drove on by. 

"They be black peoples," Rims argued. "They won't care if I be 
kill a grafted snake among them." 

"Fucking man is insane," Judo muttered to himself. 


Clark Howard 

"It's too risky, brother," Skullcap protested. 

"Risk don't bother me none when it's for Allah," Rims de- 
clared. "I be led to this white devil by Allah, to destroy her from 
among our black brothers and sisters. Take me back there." 

Skullcap shook his head. "Brother, I don't think you should — " 

Rims reached into the back seat and took the gun from Judo. 
"Take me back!" he insisted. 

Skullcap looked at his face, at the fixed eyes, the grim line of 
mouth. And at the gun Rims was holding. "Okay, brother," he said 
quietly, "hang loose. We going back." 

He guided the car around the block and pulled to the curb near 
the corner of Silver and Brussells. Rims, looking almost as if he 
were in a trance, got out and walked to the Laundromat entrance. 

Inside the Laundromat were six black women and two black 

And Jane Holly. 

Jane got up from the table where she was sharing her newspaper 
with the black man, and went over to dryer number ten. She re- 
moved some of her clothes and transferred them to a folding table. 
Then she returned to the dryer and reached in for the rest. 

Rims walked through the front door, went directly up to Jane 
Holly, and shot her twice in the back. 

The black customers on the premises froze. The man who was 
reading Jane Holly's newspaper rose to a half crouch, then he too 
froze. Jane Holly did not fall; she staggered sideways along the 
row of shiny stainless-steel dryers. 

Rims turned and hurried out the front door. As soon as he was 
gone, the crouching black man rushed to Jane Holly, put his arms 
around her, and eased her to the floor. When she was all the way 
down on her back, the man said, "Somebody watch her while I call 
the police." 

Fotinos and Coreris were cruising within a mile of the scene, 
scanning the streets, when the shooting call was broadcast. 

"Son of a bitch," said Fotinos. "A few more blocks and we 
could have caught them in the act." He punched down on the ac- 
celerator and shot the unmarked police car forward. 

Officers Paul Maniscalco and Robert Van Dis, in Unit 3C-2, beat 



them to the scene. They cordoned off the scene and held all wit- 
nesses for interrogation. 

"Two shell casings over by the dryers, Inspector," said Van 
Dis. "Look like thirty-twos." 

"I'll eat them if they aren't," Coreris said. 

"You got crime and photo labs coming?" asked Fotinos. 

"Yessir," said Maniscalco. 

An ambulance arrived at the same time as a captain named Con- 
roy, a lieutenant named Smith, a sergeant named Fursley, and 
another patrol unit carrying Officers Gretton and Cardinale. Jane 
Holly, still alive, was removed from the scene and rushed to Mis- 
sion Emergency Hospital. Crime Lab Inspector Walt Ihle also ar- 
rived. Earlier he had worked the Tana Smith shooting scene. He 
went immediately to the shell casings, which were being carefully 
guarded on the floor by one of the uniformed officers. 

"Thirty-twos?" he asked Fotinos, who was standing between 
him and the casings. 

"Nothing but," Fotinos replied. "That makes two murders and 
two attempts so far tonight." 

"Three murders," Ihle corrected. "They lost the Smith woman 
on the operating table a few minutes ago." 

Tana Smith, the first to be shot, was the third to die that night. 

And still the black Cadillac cruised. 

"We are rolling!" Skullcap said, exhilarated. He was now feel- 
ing as high as Rims felt. The last shooting had done it for him. It 
had been magnificent! Rims just walked into a Laundromat full of 
people, killed a white devil, and walked right back out again. No- 
body had touched him, nobody had tried to interfere with him in 
any way. It was like he was a god, a soldier of Allah, come down to 
slay the grafted snake. Maybe we are blessed, Skullcap thought. 
Something was sure watching over them tonight. 

"Whose turn now?" Rims asked, eyes wide and wild, again 
fondling the Beretta as if it were a puppy. 

"Mine!" Skullcap said, riding the crest of his enthusiasm as if it 
were a great wave and he a master surfer. "My turn again!" 

Skullcap's eyes darted from sidewalk to sidewalk as he guided 
the car west on Felton Street for a mile and a half, moving slowly 


Clark Howard 

through the short residential blocks, pausing at every comer to 
look up and down the cross streets for potential victims out alone. 

A female devil, Skullcap thought. I gots to get me another female 
devil. Tonight I be making up for all the misses I had, all the blue- 
eyed devils that didn't die like they was supposed to do after I shot 
them. Tonight I get enough to earn my Death Angel wings! Gots to 
get all females. Or kids, if any be out. 

They turned into Avalon Avenue, then started searching the 
smaller streets: up Vienna, down Naples, up Edinburgh — where 
the young white woman was moving boxes into her new apartment. 

"Ooooo-weee! Look what I see!" Skullcap said, jive-talking. 
"A white female devil just begging to be de-stroyed by Allah's 
mos' handsomest dude, yours truly." 

Rims grinned idiotically at him, while from the back seat, Judo, 
just now beginning to feel the full emotional weight of what he him- 
self had done, closed his eyes and held his hands over his ears, try- 
ing to block out all sight and sound of what was happening. 

Skullcap guided the car slowly around the corner on Peru and 
pulled to the curb. He took the gun from Rims and slid out from un- 
der the wheel. "You take over the driving, brother," he said with a 
smile — a genuinely happy smile. "I be right back. It only take me 
seconds to snuff out this grafted snake." 

Skullcap strutted back to the corner, the gun at his side. He felt 
good. Felt right. Felt with it. With the Beretta in his hand, he was — 
at last — somebody. With the power of life and death. The entire 
feeling translated into his strut, his swagger. The swashbuckler in 
the Superfly hat was about to strike again. All for Allah. 

Roxanne McMillian removed a box of towels and dishcloths 
from the car, crossed the sidewalk in front of Skullcap, and started 
up the five outside steps to her door. She saw Skullcap coming but 
tried not to pay too much attention to him. Living in the city, she 
was going to have to get used to all kinds of people — 

"Hi," Skullcap said pleasantly as he passed by the steps. 

"Hi," Roxanne returned his greeting. 

Then he raised the gun and shot her twice, once in the back and 
once in the side as she was turning to speak to him. 

Carol Matison, a sixteen-year-old white girl, was watching tele- 



vision in her home half a block away, at the comer of Peru and Ma- 
drid. She heard the two shots, thought— as so many had — that they 
were the sounds of firecrackers, and got up to look out the window. 
As she peered out into the darkness, she heard heavy, running 
footsteps — clomp! clomp! clomp! — like shoes with big wooden 
heels. Then she saw Skullcap run up to a Cadillac with high tail fins 
and jump into the passenger side. The car lurched away from the 
curb and screeched around the next corner, turning south on Lis- 

As the car sped down Lisbon, Judo, in the back seat, did not 
look out the windows. Even if he had, the street and its houses 
would have meant nothing to him. He had no way of knowing that 
in the 100 block of Lisbon lived the Stewart family. The same 
Stewart family to which Frankie and Marie Stewart belonged. The 
Frankie and Marie Stewart whom Judo, along with Head and Yel- 
low, had attempted to kidnap in the van fourteen weeks earlier. 

Alan John McMillian ran to a neighbor's house to call an ambu- 
lance. The neighbors did not know him and would not open the 
door. He ran to another house. Again they would not let him in. Fi- 
nally a lady across the street yelled at him from her window and 
said she had called the police for him. 

John had been inside the apartment when he heard the shots, im- 
mediately followed by Roxanne's screams. He rushed to the front 
door and found her lying on her side on the steps, blood forming a 
pool under her. Her assailant had already fled the scene. John 
picked up his wife and carried her into the hallway. Then he ran out 
to seek help. Now, as he hurried back to Roxanne, he could al- 
ready hear the siren indicating that help was on the way. 

As soon as the next 217 call came in, police began responding 
from all quarters. A 217 is an unknown shooting call. 

Lieutenant Ellis, of Homicide, was still at the Laundromat with 
Coreris, Fotinos, and a dozen other men. A patrol officer came in 
to tell him about the latest incident, less than two miles away. Ellis 
turned to Coreris. "We've got another one, Gus. Over at Edin- 
burgh and Peru. You and John want to take it?" 

Coreris thought about it for a moment. He glanced at Lonnie 


Clark Howard 

Green, the black man who had shared Jane Holly's newspaper. 
Green was a petty officer in the Navy, on shore leave from the am- 
munition ship U.S.S. Maua Kea docked at Concord. To date, he 
was the best witness yet to turn up at any of the shootings. In addi- 
tion to him, there were half a dozen other eyeball witnesses who 
had seen the gunman — for the first time — close up and in the light. 
Coreris did not want to let that kind of evidence get cold. 

"Why don't you let Sanders and Gilford take it?" he said. "John 
and I are already ass-deep in these witnesses." 

Ellis gave the assignment to Sanders and Gilford, the two black 
inspectors who had worked the Moynihan and Hosier shootings, 
and who had subsequently stopped Larry Green for investigation. 
Along with them he sent Inspectors Podesta and Schneider, two 
other Homicide detectives. 

Walt Ihle from the Crime Lab went also, handling still another 
one that night. He was not surprised when he got to the scene to 
find two .32-caliber shell casings being guarded on the sidewalk by 
Officer William So well who, with his partner Robert Hoch, were 
the first officers to arrive. 

In another part of the city, Chief of Inspectors Charles Barca 
summoned his driver to pick him up. Barca had been notified of the 
shooting spree that had now taken three lives, might yet be respon- 
sible for two others — or even more, for who knew if it had stopped 
or not? 

"Goddamn madmen," he muttered to himself as he waited for 
his car. When it arrived he slid in beside his driver and said, "Head 
for Edinburgh and Peru. That's where they were last." 

Meanwhile, the ambulance arrived at 102 Edinburgh and re- 
moved Roxanne from the hallway. "Let's hustle," the steward 
said quietly to his helper. "This girl's bleeding by the pint." 

The ambulance sped off toward San Francisco General, its siren 
shattering the night. 

In the black Cadillac, laughter abounded. 

"You should have seen it!" Skullcap said. "I be walk up and 
say, 'Hi.' And she turn around friendly-like and say, 'Hi'" — he 
made his voice rise to mimic Roxanne — "then I aim the gun and 
pow! pow! I lets her have it! Man, she drop like a wet rope! 



"Good, good!" Rims gloated, his eyes and smile sparkling. 
"That be good!" 

"Brother, we rolling tonight!" Skullcap said. "We moving!" 

"Whose turn it be?" asked Rims. 

Skullcap smiled widely. "Ain't mine, brother. And it ain't yours. 
So who do that leave?" 

"Hey, brother, it be your turn," Rims said over his shoulder as 
he drove. "Where you want to go to?" He turned off Lisbon into 
Brazil and doubled back up Mission Street, heading north. "Where 
to now?" he asked again when Judo did not answer. 

Skullcap looked back at Judo, who still had his head down, eyes 
closed, ears covered. "Man, will you look at this shit," Skullcap 
said. "This cat is flipping out." He reached back and pulled one of 
Judo's hands away from his ear. "Say, man! We got to know 
where you want to go. It's your turn to sting." 

Judo looked out the window until he saw a street sign that told 
him they were on Mission. He saw the numbers decreasing in the 
direction in which they were traveling, so he knew they were head- 
ing back toward the heart of the city. "Just keep going," he said 
listlessly. "Keep going." 

The distance between them and the last shooting piled up block 
by block: Thirtieth Street, Twenty-fifth Street, Nineteenth — 

"Hang a left and cut over to Guerrero," Skullcap said after a 
while. "Else we be right back where he got that first dude." 

"You mean first devil," Rims corrected righteously. 

"Yeah, devil." 

Rims drove up to Market, where Guerrero ended, and made a 
quick left and right to get onto Laguna. They headed north on La- 
guna. At one point they passed directly by the spot where Head 
had shot and killed Frances Rose. None of them recognized the 
place because none of them had been with Head that night. All 
they knew was that he had killed a white female devil; they did not 
know where. Or care. 

"Somebody gots to tell me where to go," Rims said nervously. 
He did not like to drive without directions. 

"Pull over and park," Skullcap ordered. Rims obeyed. Skullcap 
twisted in the seat and faced Judo. "It's your turn, brother," he 
said evenly. "You going to look for a sting to make or not?" 


Clark Howard 

"Not," Judo said, shaking his head. "I don't feel so good, man. 
That old bastard choking me like that done got me all fucked 

"You fucked up, all right," Skullcap said, "but it ain't because 
of that old man. You supposed to be a fucking black belt: why 
didn't you break that old man's arms when he grabbed you?" 

"I couldn't think — I didn't expect it — the motherfucker had two 
bullets in him, he wasn't supposed to grab me like that — " 

"You a fake, man," Skullcap said coldly. "You a motherfucking 
phony and you don't have no business being with Death Angels. 
Get your ass out from this car." 

Judo stared steadily at Skullcap. The man's eyes were cold and 
dangerous, their pupils dilated almost to the circumference of the 
irises. The face around those eyes was a dark death-mask, an evil 
countenance of flesh and blood and bone, a terrible animal incar- 
nate. There was nothing of the human being in him at that moment. 

And, Judo knew, Skullcap still held the Beretta in his lap. 

"I'm going," he said quietly, almost ashamedly. He opened the 
car door and stepped onto the sidewalk. 

"Good riddance," Skullcap said. Then to Rims: "Drive on." 

The black Cadillac moved away into the night. 

In the trauma unit at Mission Emergency, a surgical team pre- 
pared to work on Roxanne McMillian. She had a single wound to 
her anterior and lateral right chest, and another of the midback. 
The former had resulted in a bullet being lodged near her heart, the 
latter in a bullet being lodged near her spine. 

"Great," said a surgeon studying the X rays. "We can go for the 
one near the heart while the other one possibly cripples her, or we 
can go for the one near the spine while the first one possibly kills 
her. Is it okay to check 'None of the above'?" 

"Only in politics, not in surgery," another doctor answered. 

"We're either going to paralyze or kill this gal, you know that, 
don't you?" 

"No, somebody else already did that with the bullets. We're go- 
ing to try to undo what that prick did. Come on, Doctor, let's go to 

As Roxanne McMillian was being operated on at Mission Emer- 



gency, Jane Holly was expiring at San Francisco General. Her 
cause of death was exsanguination due to two gunshot wounds. In 
laymen's terms, that meant she literally bled to death. 

Jane Holly, the fourth one shot, was also the fourth to die. 

At ten thirty, George Holly walked over to the Lightning Laun- 
dromat. A uniformed policeman met him at the door. 

"I'm looking for my wife," Holly said. "She's late getting 
home. What's going on?" 

"What's your name, sir?" the officer asked. Holly told him. Also 
the name of his wife. "Do you have a picture of your wife, sir?" 

"Yes, I think so," Holly said, taking out his wallet. "Can't you 
tell me what's going on?" 

"Yessir, we will in a minute. May we look at the picture first?" 

Holly handed over a wallet-size snapshot of Jane. The officer 
took it over to Gus Coreris, who was interviewing a witness. Cor- 
eris looked at it, then over at George Holly in the doorway. His 
shoulders sagged. Jesus, he thought. Why me? It was bad enough 
having to all the time look at the dead without also having to break 
the news to the living. 

"Okay," he said quietly to the officer. He smoothed down his 
dark mustache and went over to the man in the doorway. "Mr. 
Holly, will you come in and sit down, please? I have something to 
tell you." 

At the end of Day One Hundred One, there were eighteen vic- 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, a survivor, after having his lungs, spleen, and kid- 
ney ripped apart by bullets. 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death 
as she walked down the street. 


Clark Howard 

Ilario Bertuccio, gunned down in the street as he walked home 
from work with a bottle of 7-Up under his arm. 

Angela Roselli, surviving but seriously injured after being shot 
down in the street as she was returning home from a Christmas 

Neal Moynihan, shot down in the street on his way home with a 
Teddy bear for his little sister. 

Mildred Hosier, shot down in the street as she walked toward 
her bus stop. 

John Doe #169, kidnapped, horribly tortured, decapitated, his 
hands and feet butchered off, bundled up like a turkey, and thrown 
into the sea. 

Tana Smith, shot down in the street on her way to buy material 
to make a new blouse. 

Vincent Wollin, shot down in the street on his sixty-ninth birth- 

John Bambic, shot down in the street while rummaging in a trash 

Jane Holly, murdered in a public Laundromat while removing 
her clothes from a dryer. 

And Roxanne McMillian, shot down as she was moving a box 
into her new apartment, by a man who first said "Hi" to her. 


Day 164 

Between Day One Hundred One and Day One Hundred Sixty- 
four exactly nine weeks passed. 

They were the most unusual nine weeks in the history of San 

On the morning after Day One Hundred One, newspaper head- 
lines screamed terrible announcements to the city: 






Calls requesting information about the purchase of personal fire- 


Clark Howard 

arms started coming into the police department even before the 
day shift began. 

"I want to find out about buying a gun," the call usually went. 
"Do I have to get a permit?" 

"What kind of gun, sir?" 

"I don't know. A thirty-eight, something like that." 

"To purchase a handgun, sir, you must fill out an application at 
the store where you pick out the gun. Your application will then be 
processed by the police department. If approved, you will be 
notified when to pick up your gun." 

"How long's it take?" 

"A week to ten days, usually. We have to be sure an applicant 
isn't an ex-convict or an alien, doesn't use alcohol to excess, is not 
a drug addict — things like that." 

"How do I get a permit to carry it?" 

"Permits to carry a firearm on the person are not normally issued 
in California, sir, unless the party requesting it is an ex officio po- 
lice officer of some kind, or is a licensed private investigator." 

"How about for protection?" the caller asked indignantly. 
"Can't a man carry a gun for protection?" 

"No, sir. Protecting the public is the police department's job." 

The caller grunted derisively. "You sure as hell aren't doing a 
very good job of it, Mac . ' ' And hung up . 

The next call was already waiting on the line. "Hello, I want to 
find out about how to go about buying a gun — " 

When Chief of Inspectors Charles Barca walked into the Hall of 
Justice, he was besieged by reporters. 

"Chief! Do you have any suspects in the case?" asked the one 
who got to him first. 

"No definite suspects," he said. But already his steel-trap mind 
had dredged up half a dozen street hoodlums he was going to have 
checked out — just on the off chance that one of them was involved. 
Police officers throughout the department would be doing the same 
thing all day long. A lot of crimes were solved on hunches. 

"Chief!" another reporter called as Barca walked toward the 
elevator. "Was the gun last night the same one used in the other re- 
cent killings?" 



"Same caliber gun," said Barca. "But the ballistics report isn't 
back on the slugs yet." Something in the back of his mind, some 
long in-bred cop instinct, told him to wait for that report before 
commenting on the gun. 

"Chief, is it true that you have some close eyewitnesses for the 
first time?" 

"Yes. The killing in the Laundromat was done under bright 
lights in front of half a dozen people." 

"Can any of them identify the killer?" 

"Don't know yet. We hope so, of course." 

"Any word on the fifth victim, Chief? She still alive?" 

"She was an hour ago. In serious condition, but still hanging 
on." Barca pushed the elevator button and waited. More reporters 
surrounded him. 

"Chief, is the department going to take any special steps to stop 
these killings, or will they be handled as part of the normal rou- 

"Special steps, very definitely. There'll be a formal statement 
for you from Chief Scott's office later today." Chief Scott was 
Donald M. Scott, the San Francisco chief of police. 

"Chief, there's a hot rumor going around that — " 

"I don't comment on rumors," Barca interrupted. 

The elevator came. Chief of Inspectors Barca stepped aboard 
and was gone. 

The rumors of which the reporter had tried to speak were ram- 
pant throughout the Hall of Justice. There was now no question in 
the minds of many that the shootings were racial in motivation. In 
the beginning there had been room for doubt. San Francisco was a 
melting pot of ethnic communities; it was not unusual for there to 
be numerous reported crimes involving mixed subjects: not only 
Negro/Caucasian and Caucasian/Negro, but also Chinese, Chica- 
no, Arab, Indian, and others. People who dealt with crime in San 
Francisco were accustomed to considerable ethnic variety in their 
Incident Reports. 

But it was now generally agreed that the recent street shootings 
fell outside what was normal and accepted coincidence. Within 
common knowledge around the Hall of Justice was the fact that 


Clark Howard 

there were now fourteen shooting victims. Eleven of them dead. 
All of them white. And all of them shot by black men. 

It was even clearer to those in the Hall's inner circle: those who 
had all of the facts. Such as the Hague kidnapping and murder, the 
Linder rape, and the John Doe #169 butchering. There was a terri- 
ble pattern to it all. 

"It's some kind of fanatical black group," the rumors went. 

"It's a black revenge gang," said another. "Getting even for 
some of their people who got shot in a robbery or something." 

"Bunch of crazy niggers is all," said another. "Nothing unusual 
about 'em. All spades are crazy; these guys are just more crazy." 

Gus Coreris and John Fotinos were bombarded with questions 
wherever they went. Even in the men's room. 

"Hey, Gus, what do you figure on this one? Black terrorists?" 

Coreris shook his head, feigning uncertainty. "I'm not even 
close to figuring this one yet," he lied. 

"Hey, John, what do you think? Symbionese Liberation Army, 

Fotinos shrugged. "Hell, it could be anything. Your guess is as 
good as mine." 

But privately they knew. 

"Got to be the goddamned Muslims," Coreris said. 

"Got to be," Fotinos agreed. "I knew it from the beginning. The 
sons of bitches are trying to wipe out whitey." 

Elsewhere in the Hall of Justice, the old-timers engaged in 
bloody reminiscences. "Worse night in San Francisco's history," 
said one of the old jail custodians. "Worse night since that China- 
man went berserk with the ax over on Bush Street back in thirty- 
nine. Remember? Eddie O'Toole, God rest his soul, was just a 
rookie cop at the time. Brought him down with a single slug right 
between his slanted eyes. Damn fine shot." 

"Yeah, but there was a night w'ust than that," an elderly Negro 
porter argued. "I 'members a night when a cabby name of Buck 
Kelly went crazy and shot five people. Killed ever' one of them. 
That was in 1927. Or maybe 'twenty-eight." 

And so it went. People talked of nothing else. 

* * * 



On the streets it was the same. Dexter Waugh, an Examiner re- 
porter, accompanied by photographer Walt Lynott, cruised the 
various districts of the city and stopped people on the street to in- 
terview them. One of those Waugh spoke with was Mrs. Sue Wal- 

"How do you feel about the shootings?" he asked. "Are you 

"I sure am," she replied. "Why wouldn't I be? I mean, these 
men harm innocent people. I'd like to know why too. I mean, we 
didn't do anything. Like the woman in the Laundromat — why her? 
I just don't understand." 

Next Waugh interviewed Mike Donlon. "Will you continue to go 
out at night?" 

Donlon shrugged. "Yeah, I guess so. I'm not sure." 

"Are you afraid?" 

"I'm a little bit shaky," he admitted. 

Waugh stopped Joan Field, a pretty, long-haired lab technician. 
"Do you go out alone at night?" he asked her. Joan shook her head 

"Not on a bet." 


"Never. I moved to San Francisco two years ago and have made 
a practice of never going out alone at night. I either stay home or go 
out with friends." 

On Irving Street, at a coffee shop called Three Mills Creamery, 
Waugh spoke with the proprietor, Charles Prongo, who had been in 
business there for forty years. "Have the shootings made any 
difference to your business?" 

"Not much," Prongo answered. "I get a lot of elderly custom- 
ers, you know. They all talk about being sure they get home before 
dark. But they've always been like that. Only difference now is 
that they talk about it." 

"Do you stay open at night?" 

Prongo's eyebrows raised. "Are you kidding? I close six o'clock 
on the nose." 

Others were calmer. Edna Leong, an attractive Oriental woman 
who operated a drugstore, said she did not go out alone at night be- 


Clark Howard 

cause it was not necessary for her to do so. "But my daughters go 
out all the time," she said. "They think nothing of it. Of course, 
we are Oriental, and all the victims have been whites." 

"Do you feel that the streets where you work and where you live 
are safe at night?" 

"I think so. My store is at California and Fillmore, and I live 
across from the University of San Francisco. I think both areas are 
pretty safe." 

Waugh did not tell her that the location of her store was only 
nine blocks from where Tana Smith had been killed, and that her 
home was less than a mile from where Angela Roselli had been 

Cornelius O'Leary was very fatalistic when Waugh interviewed 
him. A Jimmy Connors look-alike, he said, "I take my chances. 
There's no need to worry about something going to happen. Like 
that woman shot in the Laundromat: it was fate that she was 

The blacks who were interviewed had a somewhat more relaxed 
attitude. "I go out all the time," said Charles DeLoach, an elderly, 
white-haired, white-mustached Negro. 

"It doesn't make me nervous at all," said Ben Foster, another 
black. "All the people killed was white. I think it was a backlash 
thing, from unemployment, people getting laid off, people getting 

"The only time I get extremely nervous," said J. J. White, "is 
when black people are getting killed." 

After a half day of interviewing, Dexter Waugh came to the con- 
clusion that the degree of fear was dictated by the individual's col- 
or. The shootings had definitely evolved into a racial issue. 

Early in the afternoon, a police spokesman gave a large group of 
newsmen and wire service reporters a formal statement from the 

"This department today has mounted the largest manhunt in the 
city's history in an effort to apprehend at least two men who shot 
and killed four persons and left a fifth critically wounded in random 
attacks last night. 

"The pattern of these murders is strikingly similar to the wave of 



senseless shootings that began in late November and accounted for 
at least six deaths and two persons wounded in less than a month. 
The department is convinced that those slayings, and the more re- 
cent ones last night, were the work of the same men. The weapon 
used in the killings in previous weeks was a thirty-two-caliber auto- 
matic — as was the weapon used last night. A complete ballistics ex- 
amination is being made now to verify that the same gun was used 
in all the incidents. 

"All of the earlier killings were, according to witnesses, perpe- 
trated by black men. All of the victims were white. The same was 
true of the incidents last night. 

"Descriptions of the killers have varied, but it is believed that at 
least two, possibly more, men were involved. Likewise with the 
automobiles they are using; there are apparently two or more vehi- 
cles involved. One of them has been described as a 1969 Cadillac, 
black in color. 

"A special task force unit, which was put on the streets approxi- 
mately a month ago, is immediately being increased in size and as- 
signed its own wavelength on the police radio to handle nothing but 
investigations which appear to be connected with this particular 

One of the reporters raised his hand. "Which wavelength are 
they on?" 

The spokesman referred to his notes. "Z," he said, "for Ze- 

Zebra, the reporter thought. Operation Zebra. How appropriate. 

The zebra was black and white. 

Sometime during the afternoon, fire department units from vari- 
ous stations, on orders from the mayor's office, quietly drove to 
Geary and Divisadero, to the 800 block of Scott Street, and to Phil- 
lips' Bar and Grille on Ninth Street. At each location, firemen 
hosed down the street and sidewalk to remove bloodstains which 
had been attracting the morbidly curious all day. 

Someone had already cleaned up the floor of the Lightning Laun- 
dromat and the front steps of 102 Edinburgh Street. 

When it got dark that evening, Coreris and Fotinos decided to go 


Clark Howard 

out and get some supper. They had been working continuously 
since eight o'clock the previous morning — more than thirty hours. 

"Christ, I feel like I was born in these clothes," Coreris com- 
plained as they crossed the big basement garage toward their un- 
marked car. 

"I know what you mean," said Fotinos. "I keep thinking I smell 
a goat, and it turns out to be me." 

"Is that what that is?" 

"That's it. Want to sit close to me in the car?" 

They left the Hall and headed for a quiet little restaurant they 
knew of on the other side of a residential district. As they drove, 
both men silently looked out at the streets. They were practically 

"Jesus," Fotinos said, more to himself than to his partner. 

"Did you ever see anything like it?" Coreris asked quietly. 

Fotinos shook his head. "It's like the city died." 

"Or like it closed down as a wake for the four who got it last 

There was a spookiness about the neighborhood as they cruised 
through it. Shades were drawn on most of the windows. Doors 
were closed and still, as if announcing that they were double- 
locked or barred. Vehicular traffic was sparse; pedestrian traffic 
was practically nonexistent. There were not even any cats or dogs 
on the prowl. 

"I wonder where they are right now," Coreris said. "The kill- 

"Yeah. So do I." It had not been necessary for Coreris to say 
who "they" were; Fotinos would have known exactly who he was 
talking about. "They" were constantly in their minds. 

They drove a little farther, the gloom of the still city settling even 
more heavily around them. They both felt alternately depressed 
and angry. This was their city, goddamn it! They were San Francis- 
co born, San Francisco raised. They had fought in the goddamn 
war to preserve this city. They had an interest in this city. Nobody 
had the right to go around killing people in it. Sure, they were 
homicide cops, and homicide cops handled homicides. But it was 
different when a husband killed his wife, or a woman murdered her 
boyfriend, or a hood blew away some longshoreman for not paying 



back his loan, or a punk stabbed another punk in a street rumble. 
Those were homicides with a reason, homicides that could be un- 
derstood. These — hell, these were ridiculous, they were ludicrous, 
they were insane. There was no excuse for them. 

They had to be stopped. 

"We may have to play a little dirty on this one," Coreris said. 

Fotinos sighed quietly and said nothing. He knew. 

In his cubicle, his barrel-like shoulders bent over the micro- 
scope, Mitch Luksich focused sharply on the single slug taken 
from Tana Smith's body. He examined every minute millimeter of 
its surface, every scratch, every shading, every pit. Then he 
slammed his hand down on the counter. 

"Goddamn it!" he swore to no one in particular. "Goddamn son 
of a bitch!" 

He had been over all the bullets and casings three times. There 
were one slug and two casings from the Tana Smith incident, no 
slugs and two casings from Vincent Wollin, two casings from the 
John Bambic scene and one slug found in his body by the coroner, 
two casings from the Jane Holly scene and one slug recovered by 
the coroner, and two casings from the Roxanne McMillian scene 
and one slug returned from the hospital. A total of four slugs and 
all ten casings from the ten shots fired. Four of them — the two that 
killed Tana Smith and the two that killed Vincent Wollin — were 
from Winchester- Western cartridges; the other six, that killed John 
Bambic and Jane Holly, and wounded Roxanne McMillian, were of 
Remington-Peters manufacture. Like the earlier specimens recov- 
ered from the Erakat, Dancik, DiGirolamo, Bertuccio, Moynihan, 
and Hosier killings, and the Agnos and Roselli shootings, they 
were .32-caliber automatic pistol cartridges with rifling of six lands 
and grooves, a right-hand twist, and an extractor-ejector separa- 
tion of approximately 1 80 degrees . 

The only thing wrong was that they had not been fired from the 
same gun. 

Luksich dragged the phone over to him and dialed Homicide. 
Fotinos and Coreris had just come back from their eerie drive 
through the deserted streets to eat supper. Fotinos answered Luk- 
sich' s call. 


Clark Howard 

"John, I've got some news for you that's both good and bad," 
said the criminalist. "Those five people last night were shot with a 
different gun." 

"You're kidding," Fotinos said. He covered the mouthpiece and 
said to Coreris across the facing desks, "Pick up. It's Mitch." 
Then to Luksich, when Coreris was on the line, "Tell me that 
again. A different gun was used last night?" 

"Right. Same size and type of ammo, probably even the same 
model and make of gun. But it's not the same one that shot the peo- 
ple back in November and December. Definitely not. That's why I 
said the news was good and bad." 

The two homicide inspectors locked eyes for a moment. Both 
knew what Luksich meant by news that was good as well as bad. In 
this case, it was a toss-up. Two guns meant twice as much chance 
of tracing at least one of them. But only half as much chance of 
connecting all the shootings — unless both weapons were found. 
Six of one, half a dozen of another. 

"There's always the possibility," Luksich added, "that we're 
talking about the same pistol with a different barrel, too. Of course, 
that would indicate some knowledge of handgun stripping and bal- 

"These bastards aren't that smart," Coreris said at once. 

"All they know to do is load the goddamn thing and pull the trig- 
ger," Fotinos agreed. "They probably don't even clean the piece 
after it's used." 

"We're talking about two guns then," Luksich concluded. 

On the morning of January 30, two days after the five shootings, 
the San Francisco Examiner carried on its front page, above the 
paper's masthead, an eight-column box with a telephone number 
printed twice — page left and page right — in 32-point headline type. 
The identical numbers — 553-9111 — stood out boldly, demanding 
attention. Between them was a plea: 

The police need your help. 

If you have any information about Monday night's horrifying series 



of wanton murders — any information at all — call this number: 

Ask for Homicide or Operations. Call at any time. 

Call even though you may think your evidence is insignificant. Com- 
bined with other bits and pieces, it may well be the clue that will lead 
police to the killers. 

Witnesses have provided sketchy descriptions of the gunmen. Read 
them on Page 16. 

On page 16, descriptions of the killers were broken down accord- 
ing to victims. Tana Smith's assailant was described as twenty-five 
years old, six one, 165 pounds. John Bambic's murderer was re- 
ported to be six feet tall, 180 pounds. Jane Holly's killer was said to 
be about twenty-five, six one, slender. The person who shot Rox- 
anne McMillian was believed to be about twenty-two, five feet ten, 
180 pounds. All were identified as blacks. No description was given 
of Vincent Wollin's killer; the police had held back Lulu Badger's 
description of the black man in the gray turtleneck sweater, five 
feet seven, 160 pounds, age twenty-five. They were trying to find 
witnesses at the other scenes who might remember the gray tur- 

In the meantime, Coreris and Fotinos were piecing together a 
picture of the killers on their own. They had taken all the descrip- 
tions from every crime scene since the shootings began and were 
working up a composite. 

"I don't know how many of these bastards there are," Coreris 
said, "but from these descriptions I'll lay you odds that at least two 
of them are very close in appearance." He peered across the facing 
desks at his partner. "What have you got for height?" 

"Just a second," said Fotinos, working out some calculations by 
hand. "Let's see, we've got ten estimates of height, and when we 
add them together in inches they give us seven hundred twenty- 
eight inches. Divided by the ten estimates gives us seventy-two- 
point-eight-eight inches. That makes him six feet, three-quarters of 
an inch tall. Just a shade under six one." He looked up. "What'd 
you get for weight?" 


Clark Howard 

"Seven estimates totaling eleven hundred ninety-five pounds. 
Divided out, it comes to a hundred seventy-one pounds." 

"Okay. And we've got nine estimates of age that come to two 
hundred forty-eight years, and divided out make him twenty-seven 
years, six months old." 

Coreris drew a sheet of paper in front of him and made several 
figures. "That's it, then. Twenty-seven, six feet to six one, a hun- 
dred seventy-one pounds, short hair cropped close to his head with 
no sideburns, and wears a variety of hats: a Little Caesar hat at the 
Dancik scene, a snap-brim at Agnos, a Navy watch cap at DiGiro- 
lamo, a white knit hat with a white ball at Roselli, and a dark 
Superfly hat with red band at Smith." 

"Snappy dresser," Fotinos said flatly. 

"Yeah. A real cool dude, as they say." 

"He won't be so cool when we catch the son of a bitch," said 

The two detectives gathered up their notes and returned to the 

At the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, Richard 
Walley of the Intelligence Analysis Unit, who had made the pre- 
sentation to arrange the intrastate law enforcement meeting, was 
now correlating the latest information on the statewide pattern of 
black- white execution-type crimes. Since he had made the presen- 
tation, three more killings had occurred, and one attempt. The at- 
tempt was at Emeryville, just north of Oakland. A young white 
man, Thomas Bates, from Massachusetts, was hitchhiking near the 
freeway leading to the Bay Bridge. A dark, older model Cadillac 
pulled over, ostensibly to give him a ride. Two black men were in 
the front seat of the car. As Bates hurried over, the passenger win- 
dow rolled down and one of the men smiled at him. "Hello, devil," 
he said. Then he stuck a gun through the window and shot Bates 
three times. The victim was hit in the hip, stomach, and right arm. 
He staggered to a nearby Holiday Inn and was given aid. 

Thomas Bates had survived, but three others had not, and the 
statewide total had increased to sixty-seven. Then the information 
from San Francisco's night of terror came in and the figure went up 
to seventy-one. 



Dick Walley called his contact at the California Department of 
Motor Vehicles. 

"I know why you're calling," said DMV. "It's already being 
done. We're making a printout of every 1969 Cadillac registered in 
the San Francisco area. A cop named Coreris ordered it this morn- 
ing. I take it you want a copy?" 

"My request is a little more involved than that," said Walley. "I 
want a printout of the entire state — every 1969 Caddy registered. 
Then I want the driver's license photo checked against the regis- 
tered owners. If the photo shows a black man, I want a copy of the 

DMV whistled. "You're going to have a lot of pictures. Mind 
telling me what you're going to do with them?" 

"I'm going to sort them out according to height, weight, com- 
plexion, and hairstyle, then see if I can circulate them on mug-shot 
pages to surviving victims and witnesses through law enforcement 
agencies in the communities where these shootings have taken 
place. Maybe somebody will recognize one of them." 

"Pretty long odds," DMV said skeptically. 

"I've got a file here with the names of seventy-one dead people 
in it," Walley said. "And it keeps growing. I've got to play long 
odds. Can you give me the photos?" 

"It'll take a while," said DMV, "but you'll get them." 

In his private office at the Hall of Justice, Chief of Police Donald 
M. Scott was preparing to meet the press. With his coat and tie off, 
sleeves rolled up, he splashed cold water on his face and with wet 
palms brushed down his steel-gray hair. The cold water turned his 
already ruddy face florid for a minute as he dried with one of his 
plain white handball towels. Scott was fifty-seven, a tall, husky 
man who was forever fighting the battle of the pastry cart. His one 
uncontrollable weakness in life was chocolate cake — the richer and 
creamier the better. He played golf for recreation and handball for 
blood. To lose a handball match was a traumatic experience for 
him, one of the few things — outside of crime — that could bring a 
frown to his pleasant, robust face. 

Don Scott had been a San Francisco policeman nearly all of his 
adult life. Aside from four years spent at the University of Calif or- 


Clark Howard 

nia, and a hitch in the Navy during World War Two, he had devot- 
ed himself almost entirely to law enforcement. There was virtually 
no type of police work he had not done, no type duty he had not at 
one time performed. He climbed the police ladder from bottom 
rung to top, achieving through the competitive civil service system 
every attainable rank up to captain of police; then, finally, was 
appointed by Mayor Joe Alioto to the position of chief. 

As Scott was reknotting his tie, the intercom buzzed on his desk 
and he went out to answer it. "Captain Barca is here, Chief," his 
secretary said. 

"Send him in, please." 

Scott was putting on his uniform coat, with the gold stars on the 
shoulders and the heavy, glittering badge that said chief — san 
francisco police, when Captain Charles Barca, his chief of in- 
spectors, came in. "What have we got for the press today, Char- 
ley?" Scott asked. 

"Not much, I'm afraid," Barca answered. He put a typed sheet 
in the middle of Scott's desk. "Here's a rundown on our prog- 
ress — if you can call it that." 

"What's the story on this black initiation rite theory?" 

"Nothing solid, just speculation. Coreris and Fotinos are con- 
vinced that the killers are Muslims, but they haven't hit on a mo- 
tive yet." 

"Coreris and Fotinos aren't often wrong," Scott commented as 
he read the progress report. When he finished reading and had the 
contents of the page clearly in his mind, he left the paper on his 
desk and said, "Okay, let's get it over with." 

The two men went to a large room where press conferences and 
other gatherings were held. The press were already assembled. As 
soon as Scott reached the podium, the questions came at him like 
machine-gun fire. 

"Chief, do you have any suspects at all?" 

"Not at this time," Scott said. 

"Have you questioned anyone other than witnesses?" 

"Numerous people around the city who resemble the described 
suspects have been stopped and questioned, yes. That's routine 
procedure in a manhunt." 

"Is there any truth to the rumor that the killings are some kind of 
initiation rite to a secret black sect?" 



"There is no evidence to support that theory at the present 

"Chief, a department spokesman said yesterday that this is one 
of the biggest manhunts in the city's history. Yet in cruising the 
districts, we don't see any more radio units on the streets than we 
normally would. Can you explain that?" 

"Certainly. Scores of personal cars are being used, by hundreds 
of officers in plainclothes. I assure you that, despite appearances, 
this department is fully mobilized. The largest police task force in 
the city's history is on the job." 

"Sir, is it true that the case was given the code name 'Zebra' be- 
cause the zebra is black and white, and this case appears to be 
blacks against whites?" 

"Not true at all," Scott said patiently. "The Z-for-Zebra chan- 
nel happened to be the only frequency available for exclusive 

"Chief, are you expecting the killers to strike again soon?" 

Don Scott sighed quietly. "I wish I knew," he said in the softest 
voice the reporters had ever heard him use. 

Across town, a drawn, grieving George Holly quietly left his and 
Jane's apartment, which was filled to overflowing with sympathetic 
friends and neighbors, and walked to a nearby flower shop. 

"I'd like some flowers for someone in the hospital," he told the 

Holly was led to a refrigerator display case and shown what was 
available. He made his selection and asked that they be de- 

"What's the name of the patient and the hospital, sir?" 
"Roxanne McMillian," Holly said. "San Francisco General." 
Even in his personal grief, George Holly found time to think 
about the young woman he had read about in the papers. The one 
who, unlike his dear wife Jane, had survived the night of terror. 

At the end of the second day following the five shootings, the 
city's headlines were again grim: 



Clark Howard 



None of the headlines, or the stories under them, offered any 
reassurance at all to the frightened citizens of San Francisco. 

Joseph Alioto, mayor of the city of San Francisco, made his first 
formal statement regarding the street killings on Thursday. For- 
merly a practicing attorney, from a prominent Bay Area family, 
Alioto was a big-chested, balding man who had about him an in- 
bred stateliness and an undeniable charisma. Joe Alioto dearly 
loved his city. His anguish over what the street killers were doing 
to it showed clearly in his face. 

"I want to first assure the citizens of San Francisco that a max- 
imum police effort is being made to apprehend the persons respon- 
sible for the recent series of street slayings," he said at the begin- 
ning of his statement. "I can assure them that a maximum effort is 
being made to protect residents of this city. Literally every police 
unit is involved in the investigation and the protection of the pub- 

"Both Police Chief Donald Scott and myself would like to thank 
the citizens who are coming forward with information useful to this 
investigation. Cooperation with police is increasing. 

"I would like people to be understanding of some police efforts, 
such as halting people on the streets and requiring identification. I 
am certain San Franciscans will realize it is necessary under the 
circumstances. I assure them they will be treated with courtesy, 
their rights will be protected, and police officers will act within con- 
stitutional limits." 

At the same time Alioto was issuing his formal statement, Lieu- 
tenant William O'Connor, the police department's public affairs 
officer, was conducting a press conference at the Hall of Justice. 
For the first time in San Francisco's history, the department 
officially warned citizens not to venture outdoors after dark. 



"If people must go outdoors after dark," O'Connor said, "the 
department strongly recommends that they go in pairs or groups." 

"Are there any clues at all to the identity of the two black gun- 
men?" a reporter asked. 

O'Connor shook his head. "None at all." 

"Who is in charge of the investigation?" 

"Captain Charles Barca has personally taken charge." 

"Is the department officially calling it the 'Zebra' case now?" 

"There's nothing official about the name. But it has caught on," 
he admitted. "I haven't heard it referred to by any other name." 

"Have you definitely determined the make of car the killers 

"Not yet. We have it narrowed down to a Cadillac or possibly a 

"Are you stopping persons driving both makes?" 

"We're stopping anyone we see in large, black cars of 1969 man- 
ufacture or thereabouts." 

"Anyone?" a black reporter asked. "Or just blacks?" 

"Anyone," O'Connor repeated. "Numerous whites were 
stopped last night. At nighttime it's difficult to tell the color of a 
driver. In the daytime we are naturally concentrating on cars being 
driven by black men. We have no choice in the matter. To pursue 
any other course would be foolish." 

"What about this warning to stay off the streets?" another 
asked. "Can you elaborate on that a bit?" 

"I think the warning speaks for itself," O'Connor said. "All 
we're asking people to do is use caution and common sense. Avoid 
isolated areas, dark side-streets, alleys. If you see something or 
somebody suspicious, don't hesitate to turn around and walk the 
other way. Don't feel that it's cowardly to be careful." 

"Can you comment at all on the rumored existence of a fanatical 
black sect that is supposedly responsible for some fifty or sixty 
murders in the state during the past several years?" 

"I have no information on such a sect," O'Connor said. 

"The attorney general's office is supposed to have a complete 
file on it." 

"Ask the attorney general then," the police lieutenant said with- 
out rancor. "I can't help you." 


Clark Howard 

"If you aren't going on the theory that a black sect is responsible 
for the killings," another reporter asked, "then what are you at- 
tributing the crimes to?" 

"Psychotics," O'Connor replied quietly. "Crazy men." 

In the afternoon, the Examiner had another reporter-photogra- 
pher team on the street, this time interviewing blacks exclusively. 

"How do you feel about Operation Zebra?" reporter Hollis 
Wagstaff asked Richard Matthews, a mustached young black who 
was attending the postal service academy. 

"I don't feel comfortable with all the police around," Matthews 
said. "But then I never have felt safe around them." 

Esta Moran, a long-haired, attractive black housewife, said, 
"I'm really glad that the police are concerned for a change. I just 
wonder if they'd be as much concerned if it were black people get- 
ting killed." 

John Dearman, a bearded black attorney, said when inter- 
viewed, "I commend the police for their beefing up of the force, 
but I hope it's not just directed at blacks. I hope blacks aren't being 

Julian Richardson, a bookstore operator, said, "These incidents 
are the consequence of violent propaganda thrown at us daily by 
the news and entertainment media." 

Other people made other comments as reporter Wagstaff roamed 
the streets that day. Although they were responding only to a ques- 
tion about Operation Zebra, it was curious that none of the blacks 
interviewed took the occasion to condemn the unknown street kill- 
ers or expressed sympathy for the victims. 

In the same edition carrying Mayor Alioto's statement, the Ex- 
aminer offered its own reward for the killers. Without fanfare, the 
newspaper printed a simple statement of its intent, which read: 

The Examiner today offered a reward of $5000 for information lead- 
ing to the arrest and conviction of the men who killed four persons 
on the streets of San Francisco Monday night. 

Informants should call 781-2424 and ask for the City Desk. They 
may, when calling, give their names or other identification. If they 



wish to remain anonymous, they should give a code name or identi- 
fying number which they can use later to establish their claim to the 

First the Arab community, now the city's leading newspaper. It 
was being made easier and easier for someone to come forth with 

There was some concern at this point among certain groups that 
the San Francisco Police Department might not be reacting as 
efficiently as it could to the sudden wave of killings that was terror- 
izing the city. The Examiner decided to check it out. A reporter 
was sent to the Communications Room of SFPD. Captain Jeremiah 
Taylor secured the tapes of the previous Monday evening's calls 
and played them for him. 

The tapes indicated that the first report of the Tana Smith shoot- 
ing at Geary and Divisadero was received at 7:51:50 p.m. — fifty- 
one minutes and fifty seconds after seven. The call went out ten 
seconds later, at 7:52. A radio car arrived at the scene at 7:54, two 
minutes later. 

The report of the Vincent Wollin shooting at Fulton and Scott 
was received at 8:00 p.m., dispatched at 8:00:11 p.m. — eleven sec- 
onds later — and a patrol car was at the scene by 8:02, one minute 
forty-nine seconds later. 

The John Bambic shooting incident was first reported at 9:17 
p.m., the call dispatched seven seconds later, and the unit on the 
scene at 9:19. Under two minutes again. 

By the time the Jane Holly shooting report came in, at 9:52 p.m., 
Communications was so inundated with shooting-related reports 
and requests of an emergency nature that the field call did not go 
out for forty seconds. A radio car was nevertheless there in one 
minute twenty seconds. 

With the Roxanne McMillian shooting, all records were broken: 
the report was received at 9:57:02, the call was dispatched at 
9:57:05 — a mere three seconds later — and in fifty seconds a unit 
was at the scene. 

"The average time factors for the five calls," said Captain Tay- 
lor, "is fourteen seconds to get the call on the air to a unit, and one 


Clark Howard 

minute thirty-five seconds for a team of men to arrive at the scene. 
I'd say that was pretty good time." 

The Examiner reporter agreed. The paper duly reported to its 
reading public that the police force, as usual, was on its toes. 

Examiner reporter Bob Hayes, in an effort to isolate the type of 
black individuals who were committing the crimes, arranged to in- 
terview Dr. Price Cobb, a noted black psychiatrist and author of 
Black Rage, a book dealing with black-related frustrations. Dr. 
Cobb had no difficulty in classifying the killers for Hayes. 

"Bad niggers," he said simply. He smiled at Hayes's look of sur- 
prise and explained. "One of the constant themes in black folklore 
is the 'bad nigger.' It seems that every community has had one or 
was afraid of having one. They were feared as much by blacks as 
by whites." 

And exactly what was a "bad nigger"? He was a man who 
seemed "at one moment meek and compromised, and in the next a 
terrifying killer." 

After a lengthy interview with Dr. Cobb, Hayes returned to the 
paper to do his story, convinced that violence created by a "bad 
nigger" outside the black community posed a peculiar problem for 
both black and white. He wrote: 

When violence occurs in the black community, blacks always note 
that police investigation is usually cursory. Black killing black sel- 
dom, if ever, makes page one of the newspapers. 

However, as blacks see it, when black violence strikes the white 
community, police reaction is swift and overwhelming. The black 
community becomes a hunting ground. Helmeted, shotgun-bearing 
officers cruise through their neighborhoods. Whether they know it or 
not, they only add to the growing hostility between themselves and 
the community. 

The faces that stare at each other are less than friendly. The black is 
reminded that if his description resembles that of the suspect, he 
might end up on the wrong side of a cell door. 

Hayes concluded his article by stating that blacks believed that 



multiple killers existed in every race. He quoted one black as say- 
ing, "The madness that drives black men to kill innocent peo- 
ple .. . involves a sickness that is as American as apple pie." 

While Hayes was writing his analysis for the Examiner, a report- 
er from the Chronicle, trying to tie in the street killings with the ru- 
mored rash of hackings throughout the state, went back through 
the newspaper files and came onto the clipping about the Hague 
case. He managed to locate Richard Hague, the survivor of the 
horrible kidnap-hacking the previous October. 

"I know my name has been in the papers before," Hague said, 
"but that was back when it first happened. I don't want it used now 
if I'm going to talk about the people who did it." 

Hague was granted anonymity, and proceeded to give the Chron- 
icle reporter an engrossing story of a secret mass murder sect. 

The detectives assigned to his late wife's hacking murder, he 
said, were Homicide Inspectors Bill Armstrong and Dave Tochi. 
Tochi had been sent to a meeting in Oakland which was attended 
by a number of representatives from law enforcement agencies all 
over the state. The purpose of the meeting was to compare and ex- 
change information on at least forty hacking deaths which had tak- 
en place throughout the state. Tochi, Hague said, came away from 
the meeting with information of the existence of a black extremist 
group that the combined police agencies knew about, but on which 
they could not secure evidence through any member, nor penetrate 
with an informant. 

"It's difficult to place informants into the group because of their 
strict screening procedures, and because of the heavy demands 
made on members," Hague said Tochi had told him. Tochi and the 
other officers who attended the meeting found that the group com- 
prised "a very terrifying form of terrorism, because of the charac- 
ter of the people involved." Some of them "have no criminal rec- 
ord, have never crossed swords with the police. They are involved 
in a killing (that is) entirely random and there is no connection with 
the victims." Sometimes, after they completed their initiation and 
were accepted as members of the sect, they became "clean living 
and never got into any trouble with the police again." 


Clark Howard 

The Chronicle reporter, substituting the name "Smith" for 
Hague, wrote the piece for the next edition of his paper and head- 
lined it: 


It was the first public indication that members of the San Fran- 
cisco Police Department unofficially believed that some unholy 
black rite was behind the rash of street killings. 

That night, the third night after the four killings, Janet Lang,* a 
twenty-four-year-old white woman, was waiting to cross the street 
at Grant and Vallejo, seven blocks from where Richard and Quita 
Hague had been abducted. As she stood on the corner, she sudden- 
ly felt a sharp point touch her side. 

"Stand very still, bitch, or I'll cut you," a voice next to her said 

Janet froze, petrified. The man had seemed to come out of no- 
where: one second she had been alone on the corner, the next he 
was there with the — whatever it was — sticking in her side. 

"Walk down the street with me," the man ordered. "If you try 
to get away, I'll cut you good." 

He guided her to a nearby alley. Parked a short distance down 
the alley was a black Cadillac. Janet had read about a black Cadil- 
lac in the paper just that day. She felt her entire body go cold. Oh, 
my God — 

Apparently the man sensed her terrible fear. "Don't worry," he 
said, "I'm not one of the ones doing all the killing here. But if you 
don't cooperate, I'll take care of you good with this." He showed 
her what was sticking against her side: a ten-inch, silver-handled 
hunting knife. 

Janet was forced into the rear of the car and made to lie on the 
back seat. The man with the knife got in with her and knelt on the 
floorboard. He pushed her skirt up around her hips and pulled her 
panty hose down to her ankles. As he rubbed his hand between her 

The name of this individual has been changed to protect her identity in light of 
the nature of the crime committed against her. 



legs, she was able to study his face in the gray illumination from a 
streetlight near the mouth of the alley. He was a black man with a 
short Afro; his face was pockmarked and he wore silver, wire- 
rimmed glasses with lightly tinted lenses. 

He must be one of them, Janet thought. She closed her eyes and 
silently said the Act of Contrition. At that moment, she was abso- 
lutely certain that she was going to be killed. 

When she was involuntarily moist enough to suit the black man, 
he dropped his trousers, pulled her right leg up onto his left shoul- 
der, and raped her. All the while, she continued to pray silently for 
forgiveness for past sins. 

When he had climaxed and was through with her, the black man 
wiped himself off on the hem of her dress and pulled his trousers 
back up. He took her purse, rummaged through it in the dark until 
he found what little money she had, and pulled her out of the car. 
Not even allowing her time to pull up her panty hose, he shoved 
her roughly toward the street. 

"You can beat it now, bitch," he said. "You done served your 
purpose tonight." 

Before Janet reached the end of the alley, the man was in his car 
and gone the opposite way. 

As she stumbled toward safety, Janet Lang continued to pray. 
Only now she was offering thanks for still being alive. She could 
scarcely believe her good fortune. He had not been a Zebra killer 
after all. 

Vandyke was not in town, but the men held a formal meeting in 
the loft anyway. They had to decide what to do. They held an 
open, round-table discussion in which everyone participated. Ev- 
eryone except Judo, who was not there. 

"I know some of you are very close to getting your Death Angel 
wings," the droopy-eyed man in the brown-and-yellow warm-up 
jacket said. "So I hate to be the one to say that we'd better cool it 
for a while. But that's exactly how I feel about it. This city is hot 
right now. Don't none of us want to do anything that might get us 

"Nobody's been caught yet," Skullcap said contrarily. "We got 
the cops running in circles." 


Clark Howard 

"Somebody has been caught," Yellow contradicted. "We got a 
brother doing life up in Folsom right now." He was talking about 

"Yeah," Skullcap replied with a sneer, "a brother who copped 
out to it. Anybody do that deserves life." 

"That's not really the point," said Droopy Eyes. "Point is, 
somebody did get caught — and somebody could get caught again. I 
think we're all agreed that we want to avoid that." 

"M-m-man, I sure do," Rims interjected emphatically. "I don't 
want to go back to the joint." 

"Amen to that, brother," said another of the men who had also 
done time. 

"If it was just a case of one brother getting caught again and tak- 
ing the fall alone, we wouldn't have so much cause to worry," 
Droopy Eyes said. "But there's always the chance that if they 
catch one more of us, they'll be able to catch us all. And we not 
just talking about the shit in San Francisco, we talking about a lot 
more. You brothers from Santa Clara and Marin counties got to be 
careful too; the cops is still hot up there about that hitchhiker that 
was cut up and dumped on the boulevard, and that devil on the 
Stanford campus that was stabbed fourteen times. Then there's 
that other hitchhiker that got shot on the freeway over in Emery- 
ville the other night. I mean, there's a lot of recent shit could get 
stirred up for everybody if we not careful . " 

"So what you saying we gots to do?" Skullcap asked. "Just 

"For the time being. Until everything is cool again. I talked to 
the brothers in Oakland today; they feel the same way. There's a 
lot of heavy heat over there because of some devils that have been 
shot, and one female devil that was hacked and dumped behind the 
Coliseum. The brothers in Oakland realize that this is a very poor 
time for hunting grafted snakes." 

"Yeah, but what about the ones like me who are moving?" 
Skullcap argued. "What about the ones who are so close to getting 
the wings? It's not fair to make us stop now that we be so close." 

"You'll still get your wings, brother. It'll just take a little longer, 
is all." Droopy Eyes looked at Yellow and Rims. "You two are 
closer to wings than anybody else. How do you feel about cooling 
it for a while?" 



"I don'twanttogobacktothejoint," Rims said edgily. 

"I'll do whatever's best for all the brothers," Yellow said. "I 
know my wings will come to me when it's Allah's will." 

Shit, Skullcap thought, there goes that argument. 

"Anyone want to argue against cooling it?" Droopy Eyes asked, 
looking directly at Skullcap. He waited several seconds for a reply. 
There was none. "Okay, that's it, I guess. Let's cool it for sixty 
days. No devils are to be destroyed for sixty days. That cool with 

There was a chorus of agreement as the men nodded and ap- 
proved the two-month moratorium on murder. There was actually 
relief in some of their faces, as if a heavy burden had been lifted 
from their shoulders. For no matter how demanding the reason for 
it, systematic murder takes its toll emotionally, even on the fanat- 
ic. The men in the loft this day were glad to be taking a vacation 
from death. 

All except Skullcap. 

And Judo, who was not there. 

Herb Caen, respected longtime columnist for the Chronicle, ar- 
rived at the newspaper at his customary time on Friday morning. 
Sitting down at his desk, he unfolded a sheaf of notes he had in his 
pocket and started to sort them out. Almost at once his phone rang. 

"Herb Caen," he answered. 

"Five white people are dead, right?" a voice asked. 

"Who is this, please?" Caen inquired. 

"Never mind who it is. I just want you to know that tonight 
some of us are going out and get ten blacks in trade." 

"That's not very smart, is it?" Caen said calmly. 

"Smart or not," the caller said, "we're going to do it. Two for 
one is about right, don't you think?" 

Before Caen could say anything further, the caller hung up. 

Caen made a note of what was said so that he could pass it on to 
the police. Then he sighed quietly and shook his head. He had a 
feeling it was going to be one of those days. 

The person who called Herb Caen apparently only read head- 
lines, for as almost everyone else in San Francisco knew, there 
were four dead in the most recent shootings, not five. 


Clark Howard 

Victim number five, Roxanne McMillian, lay in bed in a San 
Francisco General Hospital ward, paralyzed from the waist down. 
Her pretty face was pale and drawn, both from the shock of her ex- 
perience, the trauma of surgery, and the almost constant pain she 
felt. For even though Roxanne could not move her legs, she could 
still feel them — and what she felt, hurt. 

Her bed was near the door, and with her head turned slightly she 
could see everyone who came in, and many persons who were just 
passing in the corridor. She watched the door very closely whenev- 
er she was awake, because she was terribly afraid to be lying there 
helpless like that. It was a fear that, no matter how much she lec- 
tured and reasoned with herself, would not go away. Every time a 
young black man — orderly or visitor — passed in the corridor, she 
shuddered; every time one entered the ward, she cringed inside. 
Try as she did, Roxanne could not get it out of her head that she 
had somehow offended the black men by surviving. They had shot 
five people on Monday night; four of them had died. She was the 
only one who had lived. 

Now she lay on a hospital bed, unable to walk, and inside her 
was the dread fear that the black men would somehow come back 
and finish the job. 

It was sheer torture for her every time a young black orderly or 
doctor passed her bed and said, "Hi." She kept expecting the 
greeting to be followed by gunshots. 

In another hospital, Kaiser, south of San Francisco, Zebra vic- 
tim number ten, Angela Roselli, was being helped to stand up while 
a doctor measured the distance from her closed fist to the floor. 
Angela, whose shooting was now forty-three days old, was being 
fitted for a cane. 

She had undergone surgery twice by now: the first time on the 
night she was shot, the second after her transfer to Kaiser, where 
her student insurance would take care of the medical expenses. 
The spine damage had been corrected enough for her to try to be- 
gin walking again — as soon as her cane was ready. She had mixed 
emotions about using her legs again: she dearly wanted to resume 
walking, to be able to get around again as she had in the past, and 
not be bound to a wheelchair; but her legs continued to hurt so con- 



stantly, the pain going through them in rushes, like terrible waves, 
that she was afraid that the exertion of using them again would in- 
crease her agony. She had hurt so much, so very much, during the 
past six weeks, particularly since they had tapered her off the mor- 
phine, that she did not think she could stand to have it increase. 

But stand it she would apparently have to, if it happened, be- 
cause that was the only way she would be able to walk again. 

Angela gritted her teeth as a nurse and an aide held her upright. 
Her mind was clear of everything except the discomfort she felt; 
unlike Roxanne McMillian, she had no psychological hang-up 
about her assailant returning to finish the job. As far as she was 
concerned, the attack was over: she and the black man who shot 
her had crossed lives briefly one terrible night, then gone separate 
ways. Angela had put him out of her mind entirely; she did not 
even want her name associated with the Zebra crimes, as they were 
now being called. 

All she wanted to do was walk again, get out of the damned hos- 
pital, and return to her friends and the noninvolved life-style she 
had chosen for herself. 

Just let the world leave her alone and she would be happy. 

In San Francisco, atop Nob Hill, a reservations clerk in one of 
the city's several elegant-class hotels went glumly into the resident 
manager's office. "Another one just came in," she told him. 

The resident manager rolled his eyes up in exasperation. 
"Where's this one from?" 

"Indianapolis, Indiana. Newly weds planning to spend five days 
here on their honeymoon. They canceled through their travel 

"Any reason given?" 

"The usual: a change of plans." 

The resident manager grunted softly. "Sure. A change of plans 
to avoid a city where it isn't safe to walk the streets at night." He 
sat back and shook his head. "This is beginning to hurt." 

"I know it's no consolation," the reservations clerk told him, 
"but we aren't the only ones. I spoke with the Saint Francis, the 
Clif t, the Stanford Court — they're all experiencing the same prob- 
lem: cancellations coming in almost hourly." 


Clark Howard 

The resident manager pondered the situation for a moment, then 
said decisively, "Keep me posted on this for the rest of the day. If 
they keep coming in, drastic steps will have to be taken." 

"What will you do?" the woman asked. 

He pursed his lips in thought for a moment longer, then said, 
"I'll call the Chamber of Commerce, that's what I'll do. It's their 
responsibility to make sure the city has a favorable image. Obvi- 
ously they haven't been doing their job." 

The reservations clerk went back to her desk, relieved that the 
resident manager was going to take care of the problem. 

At noon that day, Dr. Washington Garner, a prominent black 
physician who also served as president of the San Francisco Police 
Commission, held a press conference to slap the wrist of the black 
community. The reason for the press conference, he stated before- 
hand, was that he was not satisfied that black citizens were cooper- 
ating as well as they could in the biggest criminal investigation in 
the city's history. 

"As an example of this hesitancy to cooperate," he said, "eight 
black women witnessed the slaying in a self-service laundry of the 
fourth victim in the recent shooting spree. Although the women 
have talked with investigators, police feel that some could supply 
better physical descriptions than they have. 

"On the whole," Dr. Garner observed, "the black community is 
behind the police department and wants the murderers stopped. 
But," he added, "they are afraid to come forward." 

Asked if he believed the slayings were the work of an antiwhite 
sect, Garner said he did not. "I definitely do not buy the initiation 
theory," he stated emphatically. "There is no evidence or reason 
to believe it's an organized group. If a white person killed a number 
of blacks, he would simply be classified as a psychopath. I am con- 
vinced that these are simply psychopaths committing these mur- 

Garner concluded the press conference with a plea for help in 
hunting down the killers. "I urge anyone in the black community 
who can give us a definite description of these madmen to come 
forward," he said. "We promise to keep your identity secret. 
There are even ways to get around court appearances and that sort 
of thing. All we want to do is catch these murderers." 



that a 
ward as 

the third time there was a more than subtle implication 
titaitor among the killers might be protected if he came f or- 
an informant. 

Elsewhere, three San Francisco women — Monica Halloran, 


Hambly, and Roxanne Gudebrod — sought a solution to the 


probleir in another way. They began a campaign protesting the use 
of their city as a locale for television and motion-picture crime 

"Is Sjan Francisco to achieve the reputation of the crime mecca 
of the nation?" they asked in a letter to Jack Valenti, president of 
the Motion Picture Association of America. Sending copies of the 
letter to Mayor Alioto, United States Senators Alan Cranston and 
John Ti] nney, and to all the San Francisco news media, the women 
cited th ree motion pictures and two television series as prime ex- 
amples of shows depicting the city as a jungle of violence. Dirty 
Harry, Magnum Force, and The Laughing Policeman were the 
movies; Ironside and The Streets of San Francisco the TV shows. 

"We cannot but feel that the mindless violence of Monday 
night's :hain shooting had its origin in the fictional exploits shown 
consistently in the productions mentioned," the women said. "Al- 
though entertainment producers always claim only to be giving the 
public what it wants, there is a limit to the degree to which they 
should be allowed to appeal to the public's baser instincts." 

The ladies concluded by saying that an atmosphere of violence 
was being created and fostered by consistent and detailed exploita- 
tion. The image of San Francisco, they said, was being degraded in 
the process. 

There was no response to the women's position from Valenti, 
Alioto, Cranston, or Tunney. 

Still another approach was taken by County Supervisor Alfred J. 
Nelder, himself a former San Francisco chief of police. Supervisor 
Nelder, in a telegram to the state capital, asked Governor Ronald 
Reagan to post an additional $10,000 reward for information lead- 
ing to the arrest and conviction of the murderers. 

Nelder pointed out to the governor that he, Reagan, had the au- 
thority to offer the reward under a section of the California Penal 


Clark Howard 

"I feel that it is imperative," Nelder told the press, "that as 
much money as possible be offered as a reward for these killers. 
The only way we are going to be able to apprehend them is if some- 
one comes forward with information. Otherwise, it is a hopeless 
situation. When you have a case of stranger killing stranger, there 
is almost no way at all of connecting the killer with the victim. You 
can talk to witnesses until you are blue in the face, match slugs and 
shell casings until you've got a barrel full of them, and stop and 
identify people on the street until doomsday comes, and you still 
won't find the criminals in the case without an informant. A stool 
pigeon, a snitch, a fink: that's what will solve Zebra. But it takes 
money — lots of money — to get such an informer. That's why I'm 
asking the governor to sweeten the pot with what's already been 
offered by the Arab community and the Examiner. I sincerely hope 
he will do it." 

Alfred Nelder did not get his wish. Ronald Reagan never replied 
to the telegram. 

At the Hall of Justice, a young staff assistant from the Depart- 
ment of Motor Vehicles entered the Homicide Department carry- 
ing a package containing a 191-page printout from the DMV com- 

"Inspector Coreris?" the messenger asked. 

"Over here," Gus Coreris said, waving from his desk. 

The staff assistant gave him the envelope. "These are the names 
of the registered owners of 1969 Cadillacs in San Francisco Coun- 
ty, sir," he said. 

"Good, good," said Coreris, smiling. "How many names are 

"Four thousand, seven hundred and fifty-three," the young man 

Coreris's smile dissolved. "Jesus H. Christ," he said quietly. 

At his own desk, John Fotinos ruefully shook his head. "We bet- 
ter start on them right away," he said, "so we can finish them be- 
fore we retire from the department." 

Coreris opened the package and unfolded several of the at- 
tached, perforated IBM sheets. The pages were printed in precise, 
machinelike lines, each line containing a name and an address, 
nothing more. 



"My supervisor said to tell you that they aren't alphabetized be- 
cause we've never had a reason to alphabetize registered owners of 
specific makes and models of cars," the staff assistant said. 

"I understand," Coreris said glumly. 

"Also, there's no date of birth or physical description because 
that information is contained only on drivers' licenses." 

Coreris nodded wearily. "Sure." 

"But he did say that in case you're interested, there's a man 
named Richard Walley up at the Criminal Investigation and Iden- 
tification office in Sacramento who's having these same names 
matched with driver's license photos and descriptions. In fact, he's 
having it done for every sixty-nine Caddy in the entire state." 

Fotinos grunted loudly. "What year do they expect to have that 
job finished?" 

"It's an involved assignment, all right," the young DMV man 
said. "But we're moving right along on it." 

"Thank your supervisor for me," said Coreris. "We appreciate 
the cooperation." 

After the young man left, Fotinos came around the facing desks 
and stood next to his partner. "Four thousand, seven hundred and 
fifty-three," he said. "And we don't even know which ones are 
black." He sighed quietly. "I wonder if I'm too old to transfer to 
the fire department . " 

In his apartment, Judo sat staring at the television. A live press 
conference was being televised. It involved Mayor Joseph Alioto, 
Chief of Police Donald Scott, and Chief of Inspectors Charles Bar- 
ca. Chief Scott was responding to a question about the depart- 
ment's progress on the case. 

"Progress has been slow, as we expected it to be," he admitted. 
"This is not a case where we have the usual areas of investigation 
such as a clear motive, a traceable relationship between the killer 
and the victim, or witnesses who can provide positive identifica- 
tions. This is a case where we must fall back on methodical routine 
and investigative repetition, in the hope that some clue, some evi- 
dence, that did not turn up previously, will turn up now. The pub- 
lic, gentlemen, will be our best detectives in this case." 

Judo wet his lips, then wiped them dry with the back of one 
hand. The public, he thought. That meant everybody. 


Clark Howard 

"Mr. Mayor," a reporter asked, "do you believe that an infor- 
mant will eventually come forward to help the police solve this 

"I certainly would hope so," Alioto said. "I want to make a pub- 
lic appeal right now for any witnesses or other informants who 
have knowledge of these vicious crimes to contact Chief Scott 
here, or Captain Barca, or any police officer. And I want to empha- 
size that we will accept information from anyone. " 

"Even someone who might be involved, sir?" 

"Anyone," Alioto reiterated. 

Judo swallowed down a dry throat. Anyone. Skullcap. Rims. 
Yellow. Head, even if he was in prison. Or any of the others who 
had attended a loft meeting. 

Anyone. That covered quite a few people. 

"Captain Barca," a reporter asked, "do you think there's any 
way this case can be solved without an informant coming for- 

"Of course," Charley Barca said confidently. "Eventually it will 
definitely be solved. One of these killers will make a mistake that 
can be traced to him, or he'll be caught in the act by one of the hun- 
dreds of officers we have assigned to the Zebra detail around the 
clock, or something will happen to trip them up. Point is, we don't 
know when such an occurrence will take place. We don't know 
how long the killings will go on in the meantime. That's why we 
must rely on the public to help us now. As the mayor said, we need 
help from the citizens of San Francisco, and we need it urgently." 

Everything that the officials said was reverberating in Judo's 
mind like a pinball machine gone wild. Threatening catchphrases 
surfaced, submerged, resurfaced, taunted: a mistake that could be 
traced; caught in the act; help from the citizens; information from 
anyone — anyone — anyone — 

Judo reached over and turned off the set. He had had enough. Of 
everything. He went to the kitchen door and looked in at the wom- 
an washing dishes. 

"Start packing," he said. "We leaving San Francisco." 

When the press conference was over, Alioto, Scott, and Barca 
sat down in private to discuss an official chain of command for the 
Zebra case. 



"As I understand it, Chief," said Alioto, "Captain Barcahere, 
who is your chief of inspectors, is to personally have charge of the 
case. Is that correct?" 

"Yes, sir," Don Scott replied. "He will give top priority to Ze- 
bra above all other duties." 

Alioto looked at Barca. "And at the Homicide Department lev- 
el? Who will have primary responsibility there?" 

"Lieutenant Charles Ellis is in charge there, Mr. Mayor," said 
Barca. "But of course he has primary responsibility for all homi- 
cides. We have to assign someone to Zebra exclusively." 

"Who will that be?" 

"We don't know yet," said Barca. "We'll have to confer with 
Ellis on it." 

"Let's get him over here then," Alioto said. "We might as well 
settle it right now." 

Lieutenant Charles Ellis was summoned to the meeting. The 
question was put to him without preliminary: who among his cadre 
of homicide inspectors was best suited to take over Zebra? Ellis 
answered without hesitation. 

"Coreris," and Fotinos, he said. "Gus Coreris and John 

"We mean take it over and go all the way with it," said Alioto. 

"Coreris and Fotinos," Ellis repeated. 

"Work night and day," said Scott. "Stick with it until the killers 
are caught, tried, convicted, and put away. If it takes ten years." 

Ellis nodded. "Coreris and Fotinos." 

"Do you agree, Captain Barca?" the mayor asked. 

"Completely," said Barca. 

"All right. Coreris and Fotinos it is, then." 

Later that day, Coreris came out of Lieutenant Ellis's office with 
an odd expression on his face. 

"What's up?" asked Fotinos. He had just come back from the 
Crime Lab. 

"They just gave us Zebra," Coreris said. His voice was a mix- 
ture of incredulity, pride, anxiety, and confidence, all toned togeth- 
er almost to a whisper. "They gave us Zebra." 

"Holy Christ," said Fotinos. A charge of excitement shot 
through him. "What did they say?" he asked Coreris. 


Clark Howard 

"Just that it was our baby from now on. You and I don't work 
anything else. We get carte blanche throughout the department: 
anything we need. And we get to pick two more guys to work with 

"Two more from Homicide?" 

"From anywhere. I told you: carte blanche. " 

"Who are we going to get?" 

"Fm not sure. 1*11 think about it later. Right now I want to get the 
whole thing organized. Let's collect every report from every 
shooting and get them in chronological order so that we can review 
them. Also, let's get a complete list of every witness to every inci- 
dent; I want all of them reinterviewed. Let's get together with 
Mitch Luksich too and see if he's got any new ideas about tracking 
down the gun — or rather, the two guns — that are being used. " Cor- 
eris suddenly snapped his fingers. "There's somebody else I want 
to meet with too: that guy from CII that the kid from the motor ve- 
hicles department told us about: the one who's having the sixty- 
nine Caddy registrations matched with driver's license photos. 
What was his name?" 

Fotinos thought for a moment. "Wally something. No, Richard 
Walley, that was it. Funny you should mention him, because Fve 
been thinking about him too. Even if he is covering the whole state, 
he's still doing one very important thing that can help us: he's sepa- 
rating the white registered owners from the black." 

"Exactly," said Coreris. "He might be able to help us in other 
ways too, depending on what kind of guy he is." Coreris rubbed 
his hands togethefr briskly. "Okay, partner, let's go to work and 
catch these sons of bitches." 

"Let's," said Fotinos. 

A week later, Coreris and Fotinos were driving down to Stanford 
University, thirty miles south of the city. 

"You're sure this guy will talk to us?" Coreris asked. 

"I told you, I called him on the phone," Fotinos said. "I ex- 
plained everything we had to him. And I had a patrol unit take him 
an envelope with copies of all the Incident Reports. He'll talk to 
us. It'll be off the record, but what the hell. At least we'll have a lit- 
tle insight." 



The person they were discussing was one of the foremost crimi- 
nal psychologists in the country. He was in California to lecture at 
Stanford. His insistence that his identity be kept anonymous and 
his remarks off the record was because he preferred not to become 
involved in the Zebra case to the extent that he could be subpoe- 
naed to a subsequent trial. Had he gone on record and done a com- 
plete and thorough analysis of Zebra up to that point, he might 
have legitimately billed the city of San Francisco ten thousand dol- 
lars. He was that good in his field. As it was, Fotinos had read in 
the newspaper of his visit and had taken a chance that he could in- 
terest him with a telephone call. He had. 

"You've got a lot of guts, John," Gus said as they drove south. 

Fotinos shrugged. "It worked, didn't it?" 

"This guy probably makes more money for a two-hour lecture 
than you and I together make in a whole month." 

"Doesn't matter how much a guy makes. If he's a good guy, 
he'll try to help you out. If he's a prick, he won't. This doc sound- 
ed like a good guy . ' ' 

When they arrived at the university, a campus security officer di- 
rected them to the visitors' quarters. The doctor, a small, dignified- 
looking gentleman with an almost electric presence, invited them 
in. "Which one of you called?" he asked with one eyebrow raised 

"I did, sir," Fotinos said, a touch sheepishly. 

"Most resourceful," he said, with the slightest hint of irritation. 
"You go right for the weak spots, don't you? Oh, well. Please sit 
down, gentlemen." 

They sat on a small couch in front of a burning fireplace. The 
doctor, with all the material on the case spread before him on a 
coffee table, took a club chair facing them. 

"At this point," he said, "based on what information you have 
thus far, I'm afraid there really is not much I can tell you, at least 
not much in the way of substantial facts that might help you isolate 
suspects. You don't need a criminal psychologist to tell you, for in- 
stance, that you Eire dealing with very neat, physically clean in- 
dividuals; their manner of dress and personal grooming as de- 
scribed by various witnesses has told you that. You don't need me 
to tell you that they are either very clever or very lucky; their mo- 


Clark Howard 

dus operandi has shown that. Personally, I would opt for the latter 
conclusion if it were up to me. I think they have been very lucky, 
and if I had to guess, I would say that their cleverness, their cun- 
ning, is quite limited. I don't think you're dealing with very smart 
people here, gentlemen. Not very smart at all." 

The doctor removed a cigar from a leather case and lighted it. 
Thick smoke reminiscent of Mitch Luksich rose to the ceiling. 

"What I can tell you, and tell you definitely," he continued, "is 
that you're dealing with some very latent cowards in this case." He 
saw Coreris and Fotinos exchange puzzled looks. "Yes, I know 
that sounds quite farfetched to you. How can people who murder 
so promiscuously on public streets be cowards? Surely such acts 
must take a great deal of courage and nerve. Not so, however." 

The doctor reached for a sheet of paper on the table. He perused 
it for a moment while puffing vigorously on a cigar. 

"Let us examine the circumstances of the shootings, gentlemen. 
First of all, fully one half of the victims are women. Each and ev- 
ery one of them was alone at the time she was shot, on a dark street 
at night, except for the woman in the Laundromat — and because 
she was the only white person in the place, in their minds she also 
was alone. 

"Now take the men. Most of them were alone, most of them also 
on a dark street at night. Most of them were smaller men of less 
than average height. Half of them were older men, well past sixty 
or more. The ones who weren't old and small of stature, were 
young, very slight men, thinner than usual, with outward appear- 
ances which perhaps gave the impression of weakness or frailty. 

"In short, gentlemen, we have here two or more men who are 
cowards to the very core. They do not attack police officers, ser- 
vicemen, or other males from whom there is a possibility of retalia- 
tion. They do not attack younger, larger, muscular men — seamen 
from the docks, burly truck driver types, that sort — from whom 
they might reasonably expect some kind of physical resistance. 
They do not attack women who are accompanied by someone, who 
are in or near a group, who are anywhere that might produce a de- 
fense of any kind. 

"Instead, they select — whether consciously or subconsciously — 
the elderly, the helpless, the weak, the alone. In a way they are 



very much like jackals. The jackal is a predator that preys only on 
smaller game: rabbits, squirrels, prairie mice: prey over which it is 
certain that it can achieve victory and escape unharmed. Your kill- 
ers, gentlemen, fall into the same class. They are almost totally de- 
void of personal courage. Cowards to the core." 

The doctor sat back and puffed on his cigar, studying his two 
guests. He could see the disappointment in their faces. 

"I'm sorry," he said, without actually being apologetic. "You 
obviously expected more." 

Fotinos shrugged. "We'd read how you came up with some pret- 
ty solid leads in cases in New York and Boston, places like that. 
Leads where you were actually able to pinpoint the kind of work a 
killer did, the neighborhood he probably lived in, things like that." 

"Those were cases dealing with one murderer, one individual 
around whom all the evidence gradually accumulated. Here we are 
dealing with two or three persons, possibly even more. Their com- 
bined modus operandi is affected by idiosyncratic input from each 
of them. All of their fears, for instance, are mixed into the overall 
impression they create; all of their respective values, their fanta- 
sies, hopes, illusions about themselves: all of it is one big confusing 
personality stew from which the various ingredients simply cannot 
be separated — not at this stage, anyway." 

Coreris leaned forward. "Doctor, can you tell us anything at 
all — concretely — that might be of some help?" 

"Two things," the doctor said confidently. "One is that there's a 
reasonably good chance that one of the killers will eventually turn 
on the others. The end result of latent cowardice is always self- 
preservation. One of them will ultimately feel so threatened that he 
will inform on the others to save himself. 

"The second thing I can tell you is that when the time comes to 
arrest them, when you know who they are and are actually ready to 
take them into custody, they will offer no resistance of any kind. 
They aren't the type to go out in a blaze of gunfire, to go down 
shooting. They'll give up as meekly as would a middle-aged child 

A moment of silence followed, then Fotinos said, "That's it, 

"I wish there were more," the doctor said. 


Clark Howard 

The detectives rose to leave. "Doctor, we can't tell you how 
much we appreciate your time," Coreris said, shaking hands. 
"One thing you've done: you've made us realize even more what a 
bitch of a case we've got on our hands." 

"Yeah," said Fotinos. "And we hope you're right about that in- 
formant theory. It would sure be nice if one of the bastards turned 
fink before they kill half the population of San Francisco." 

On their way back to the city, Coreris and Fotinos drove in si- 
lence for a while, each reviewing in his own mind what the doctor 
had told them. Finally, when they were halfway back, Coreris 
grunted softly. 

"What?" asked Fotinos. 

"I've got a lot of respect for that doctor and his conclusions," 
Coreris said. "And this is no reflection at all on him. But when we 
do go out to bust these bastards, I'm going to carry a shotgun. Just 

' 'That makes two of us , partner, ' ' said Fotinos . 

Gus Coreris and Dick Walley met later in the week. 

Coreris was aware of the independent investigation of statewide 
killings being conducted by Walley's department at the State Bu- 
reau of Criminal Investigation, and Walley in turn knew that Corer- 
is was working solely on the Zebra case in San Francisco. 

"It's about time we met," Walley said. "I think what you're 
working on in San Francisco and what I'm working on around the 
state is basically the same thing." 

"What's that?" Coreris asked. He was cautious with this state 
cop. Let him be the one to say it first, he decided. 

"I think we've got a small network of Black Muslims systemati- 
cally murdering white people," Walley said bluntly. 

Coreris put aside his caution. "I think you're right, Dick," he 

From that moment on, neither man held anything back from the 

"I've had suspicions about the Muslims since 1972," Walley told 
him. "There was just too much coincidence not to tie them in. Sim- 
ilar murders, all either unprovoked street shootings or hackings, 
had to be connected; patterns like that just don't happen coinci- 
dentally. And then there were the descriptions of witnesses and 



survivors: neatly groomed young black men dressed in suits and 
ties, with nothing at all sinister or threatening about their appear- 
ances. They just sounded like Muslims. You know how they're ex- 
pected to dress carefully; it's part of their thing." 

Coreris nodded. "My partner, John Fotinos, picked up on that a 
long time ago. He said the San Francisco killings were Muslims 
from the very first case we handled — Saleem Erakat, the grocer." 

"You've got a smart partner." 

"The smartest," Coreris told him. "But we're dead-ending on 
this Zebra thing. The mayor and everybody keep yelling for citi- 
zens to come forward and help the police; but even if citizens do 
come forward, there's a good chance we won't even have any pic- 
tures for them to identify. From what we've been able to learn, 
about half of the men they recruit — in San Francisco, anyway — are 
clean: no criminal record at all; some of them are straight out of 
high school; others are being raised as Muslims, with after-school 
classes in physical education, self-defense, that sort of thing — 
much in the same way of the old Hitler Youth Corps in Germany. 
The other half of the recruits come right out of San Quentin and 
Folsom, and on those punks we do have pictures. But if these Ze- 
bra killers are from the half with no police record, why, hell, they 
could go on killing indefinitely — no matter how many willing citi- 
zens come forward." 

"That's a problem, all right," Walley allowed. "Do you have 
any ideas about solving it?" 

"Just one," said Coreris. "I'd like to put the San Francisco 
Mosque under photographic surveillance. I'd like to get a picture 
of every man entering or leaving that place . " 

Walley shrugged. "So do it." 

"Can't," said Coreris. "It's a place of worship. The official posi- 
tion of the city of San Francisco is that it would be a violation of 
the U.S. Constitution to put a place of worship under surveillance. 
The minute I made an attempt to set up anything like that, there'd 
be pressure brought from some quarter and I'd probably get taken 
off the case." 

"And you don't want that?" 

"No, I don't, Dick. I want to stay on Zebra until these dirty sons 
of bitches are in the second-best place for them: prison." 

"What's the first place?" 


Clark Howard 


Dick Walley rubbed his chin and studied Coreris for a long mo- 
ment. "I like you, Gus," he said at last. "I like the way you think. 
Would you be offended if I offered you some help?" 

"Not at all. What kind of help?" 

"Putting that mosque under surveillance. With state equip- 

Coreris sat back in surprise. He had not expected such an offer. 
Walley would be sticking his neck way out. "You're not joking, 
are you?" 

"I never joke about cold-blooded murder, Gus," he replied. 

So it was that on February 17, 1974, after the total of random 
killings of white citizens in California had reached seventy-one, 
and the number in San Francisco had reached thirteen dead and 
five seriously wounded, that equipment and personnel of the Cali- 
fornia Department of Justice began a photographic surveillance of 
the Nation of Islam mosque known as Muhammad's Temple # 26, 
located at 1805 Geary Street in San Francisco. The surveillance 
was done from an apartment directly across the street. Cooperat- 
ing in the surveillance was an agent of the state's Bureau of Inves- 
tigation and a homicide inspector from the San Francisco Police 

During the course of their surveillance, they secured approxi- 
mately four hundred photos of black males entering and leaving the 
mosque. The photos were sorted into groups and still another 
lengthy process of methodical police work began: that of showing 
each group of photos to every witness in every shooting. 

And with that effort, February passed. A month had gone by 
without any further killings. 

At Black Self Help Moving and Storage, J.C., Manuel, and Lar- 
ry were unloading a truck of furniture that had been picked up for 
storage. Like everyone else in San Francisco, they were talking 
about Zebra. 

"The pigs got an answer for everything," Larry said. "Some re- 
porter ask if it true that they call it 'Zebra' because it's blacks hit- 
ting on whites, and the pigs they say, 'Oh, no, man, that's not the 
reason!' They say the reason is some radio channel with a Z num- 
ber or something. They expect people to believe that shit?" 



"Man, you can't tell what whites is going to believe," J.C. said. 
"The Caucasian intellect has evolved over the years into such a 
fucked-up mess that they believe anything. You know what the 
mos' important thing in the world is to a white woman? This right 
here," he said, patting a large, double-door Harvest Gold refrigera- 
tor. "Give a white woman the biggest, fanciest, mos' expensive re- 
frigerator on the market, so she can show it to all her friends, and 
she be happy as a hog in shit." 

Manuel grunted as he moved the refrigerator toward the tailgate 
of the truck. "I wish she be happy with something that don't weigh 
so much," he said. 

"And you know what makes a white man happiest of all?" J.C. 
asked his audience. "Two things: being on the bowling team where 
he work at, and daydreaming 'bout getting some pussy on the side. 
Thinking 'bout those two things take up about seventy-five percent 
of his time. Tha's why the average white man never rises above a 
certain level in life. And tha's why his woman don't push him no 
harder: she happy with that fucking refrigerator. Caucasian intel- 
lect, man. It's something else." 

The men shuffled the refrigerator off the truck and tilted it onto a 
dolly. "Run it on inside, man," J.C. said to Manuel. Moore was 
the biggest, strongest, and least intelligent; the others did not hesi- 
tate to take advantage of it to make him do the most work. Easygo- 
ing, affable Manuel Moore knew it, but it did not bother him. These 
were his friends, his brothers; he did not mind helping them 

When Manuel pushed the refrigerator inside, J.C. asked Larry, 
"You been stopped by the pigs anymore?" 

Larry shook his head. "Not since that one time." 

J.C. looked around the back area of Black Self Help. His eyes 
scanned, searched. "You think they watching this place?" 

"They watching everyplace," Larry said. "Wherever there a 
blackface, they watching." 

"Well, they wasting their time watching around here," J.C. 

"They don't know that," Larry pointed out. 

The two of them hopped up into the back of the truck and carried 
a gas range back to the tailgate. It was much lighter than the refrig- 
erator, easier to move. J.C. remained silent for several moments, 


Clark Howard 

but he was studying Larry whenever he got the chance. Finally he 

said, "Say, you ever hear from Harris?" 
Larry shook his head. "I ain't heard from Anthony for a month. 

Him and Debbie moved out of their apartment." 
"You don't got no idea where they gone to?" 
Larry shook his head again. "No idea at all, man." 

Anthony Harris and Debbie were living across the bay in Oak- 
land. They had moved over there without telling anyone when they 
were leaving or where they were going. Debbie's baby had been 
born: a boy whom she and Anthony named Anthony, Jr. Because 
Debbie was unmarried, she qualified for and received state wel- 
fare. Anthony had found a job as a helper in a fish market down on 
the docks. At night, after he got home from work, he and Debbie, 
like Anthony's friends at Black Self Help, also talked about Zebra. 

"It's only a question of time before the police catch those men," 
Debbie said as Anthony washed the fish smell from his body. 
"Men just can't go on killing like that forever and get away with 

Anthony nodded. "You right," he said listlessly. Personally he 
was sick and tired of all the Zebra talk. That was all he heard 
everywhere he went: on the bus going to work, on the docks un- 
loading the fish, at the barrels slitting and scaling the fish, sitting 
around eating lunch, coming back home on the bus at night, and 
now in his own house where he expected peace and quiet. He 
would have liked to tell Debbie to shut up and talk about something 
else, but he was afraid it would make her suspicious. She had 
already told him on several occasions that she did not think J.C., 
Manuel, and Larry were the type of associates he should have. It 
would not have surprised him at all if she already suspected them 
of the San Francisco killings; therefore, the least little thing he said 
on the subject might tie him in with those suspicions. So he just lis- 
tened, commenting only when he had to. 

"What really upsets me about the whole thing, Anthony," she 
said, "are the insinuations that these killings might have something 
to do with the Nation of Islam, or with Muhammad's Temple. As if 
Allah's ministers would preach killing and death like that. The bad 
part of the whole thing is that most white people don't know any- 



thing about Islam; they're liable to believe anything the newspa- 
pers say or any rumors they hear. Don't you think that's so, Antho- 

"Yeah, that so. Supper near ready?" 

"In a few minutes. I'll tell you one thing, I'm glad we left there 
when we did. I'll bet it is really miserable for our people over there 
right now. What do you think it's like, Anthony?" 

"Pretty bad, I guess," he replied disinterestedly. "Listen, I'm 
going in the bedroom and play with the baby. Call me when sup- 
per's ready." 

In the bedroom he saw that the baby was fast asleep. Rather than 
wake him and have him fidgety all through supper, Anthony just 
stretched out on the bed and lay there quietly and rested. The bed 
felt good under his back. He had not been sleeping well lately: he 
kept dreaming of all the talk he heard about Zebra. Everywhere he 
went, that was all there was to listen to: Zebra, Zebra, Zebra. 

Allah only knew how much he hated that word and all it repre- 

The letter was addressed simply: 

Chief of Police 

San Francisco Police Department 


San Francisco, California 

It was mailed in a letter-size envelope and stamped with a color- 
ful Expo '74 ten-cent stamp. Eventually a clerk pulled it out of the 
courthouse mail, crossed out "Courthouse," and scribbled in 
"Hall of Justice." The letter was then sent over the Chief Don 
Scott's office. He read it and sent it down to Chief of Inspectors 
Barca. Barca read it and f orwarded it to Lieutenant Charles Ellis in 
Homicide. Ellis passed it on to Gus Coreris. Coreris and Fotinos 
read it together. The letter, neatly typed, single-spaced, said: 

Dear Sir: 

I was once a Muslim and I know for a fact that the Muslims do ad- 
vocate the killing of whites. In fact, they preach the extermination of 
the entire white race. 


Clark Howard 

Please understand that the information I am about to give you 
comes from several years of being a Muslim where I too advocated 
the killing of white children and taught a doctrine of hate. If any 
member of the group should find that I have given out information 
my life will be in danger. I am withholding my name for that reason 
but I cannot go on that my holding back on information could con- 
tribute to the brutal killing of more innocent people. 

Perhaps an understanding of some of the basis for the white race 
hatred would make it easier to understand how a Muslim can kill 
without the slightest feeling of guilt. It is believed and taught that ev- 
ery black person is born with a black and a brown gene. At one time, 
long ago, a Muslim scientist kept extracting the brown gene until he 
came up with a yellow person and finally a white person who was the 
epitome of everything bad. The purpose of this, so says the myth, is 
for the perfection of the black man. Through looking at the evil of 
the "white devil" and struggling with him could he in turn perfect 

The Muslim ministers teach that the "hereafter" is not going to be 
heaven but rather the earth after the "white devil" has been over- 

It is very easy to hate enough to kill if you are a Muslim. When you 
go to the Temple you are told how the white devil raped your grand- 
mother and how she was made to pull the plow with her body while 
the white devil's animals rested. You are worked up into a religious 
fervor, a fervor of hate. You feel that it is your sacred duty to avenge 
the injustices that have been done to your ancestors. The ministers 
tell you that you should kill white babies, that no white man should 
survive on earth, that the black race must overcome the devil. Many 
times I became so angry that I wanted to run out and hack up a white 
person. I would have felt justified in doing it. 

The Muslims take no responsibility for the reactions to their teach- 
ings. The killing of whites is no new thing. Every month I was there 
someone had gone out and killed someone. Check the police records 
for the motiveless, brutal killings of whites in the streets in the past 
few years and you will see that this is true. The Muslims have a built- 
in protection whereby if you get into trouble with the police you are 
no longer a Muslim. It is not that no Muslim ever does anything 
wrong but rather that he is disowned by the group if he gets caught. 

The Muslims indoctrinate their members in three ways. The first is 
the teaching of race hatred and of the superiority of the black race. 



The second means is through symbology. Symbols of the cross, the 
flag, and then the sword are placed on pictures or blackboards in the 
Temples and you are constantly reminded that the white religion, the 
white nation, and the white race should come to a violent end. The 
third means is through the military-like drilling of the Fruit of Islam 
(FOI — Muslim men's group). Here you are made to march, to re- 
spond to commands without thinking, to react without judgment. A 
command need only be whispered and you are so well trained that 
you react before you even realize to what you have reacted. 

I have heard a Muslim minister speak of the killing of whites in San 
Francisco, the killing of white police officers, and the killing of white 
public officials. I have heard talk of "offing" you in that you sup- 
posedly have not been sensitive enough to the needs of the group. In 
fact it was at this point that I began thinking for myself and decided 
to get out before the real trouble began. 

Please do something if you can to stop this hatred campaign before 
more people get hurt. Of course, I too want our people to be free but 
these killings are just going to cause trouble for everyone. 

I feel sick when I think back to times when other Muslims and I 
would describe to each other how we would kill whites and what we 
would do to white women before we killed them, and how we would 
enjoy seeing white guts smeared across the streets. I am talking 
straight to you now. You can't imagine the guilt that I feel knowing 
that I have contributed to the hatred that has led to all these killings. 
And I am sure that there will be more. 

Everything in this letter can be verified and if you have the means 
to do so please check it out. Understand where I am coming from 
when I say I can't sign. Please help if you can. 

When they were finished reading the letter, Fotinos grunted 
loudly. '"Please help if you can,"' he quoted. "Why the hell 
doesn't he help if he's feeling so goddamned guilty?" 

Coreris tossed the letter onto his desk. "The son of a bitch could 
probably name every black street killer in the city. So he just sits 
on the information. Bastard." 

"Maybe a garbage truck will run over him," Fotinos said. 

"Let's hope it's soon." 

The two detectives fell silent for a moment and their eyes met. 
Their thoughts coincided, and they both knew it. 


Clark Howard 

"Jesus, listen to us," said Fotinos. "Talk about Jumping the 

Coreris agreed. "Yeah. It couldbe a crank letter." 

"It could even be a white crank letter." 

Without actually saying it, they were telling each other to stay 
steady and straight and not to let the case get to them. 

It was good advise, and they both knew it. 

Besides the letter from the guilt-ridden Muslim, and numerous 
other crank-type letters and telephone calls, Coreris and Fotinos 
also had to cope with informants who offered information for pay. 
An example was Junior Clipper,* a black pimp referred to Fotinos 
by a fellow officer on the vice squad. Fotinos tried to pin Clipper 
down at once. 

"Do you know anything or don't you, Junior?" he asked bluntly. 
"Because if you don't, I don't want you wasting my time." 

"Man, it ain't exactly what I knows/' Junior explained, "it's 
what I might be able to find out, you dig?" 

"Find out how? From who?" 

"I don't know from who yet, but I can tell you how. See, I gots a 
few foxes on the street doing for me, you know what I mean?" 


"Yeah, doing for me. Now, every once in a while one of them 
smartass Muslim cats from the temple decides he wants a real 
piece of ass, see, not one of them religious fucks, but the whole 
shot, see, sixty-nine and all. When that happen, they usually come 
to one of my women, see. I mean, my women is the best, see, man, 
and those dudes know it. My women is white, see, gots blond hair, 
shaved pussies, the whole shot, see." 

"Get to the point, Junior." 

"Yeah, right. I was thinking, if it was worthwhile to you, maybe 
I could like instruct my women to see could they get any informa- 
tion for you." 

"Come on, Junior," Fotinos said dubiously. "You don't really 
think any of those Fruit of Islam jokers are going to tell anything to 
a white hooker, do you?" 

♦This person's name has been changed. He is currently serving time in a Califor- 
nia prison and to identify him could possibly jeopardize his safety. 



Junior smirked. "Hey, man, you be surprised some of the things 
gets told to my women. When a black cat is about to stick it to a 
white cunt, he trying to impress her, you know what I mean? He 
trying to be a big man, a hotshot. Shit, he liable to say anything." 

Fotinos talked it over with Coreris and they decided that maybe 
Junior had a point. They went to Lieutenant Ellis, told him the sto- 
ry, and got a hundred dollars out of the informant slush fund. 

"We're going to lay a hundred on you, Junior," Fotinos told the 
pimp. "That's for openers. If you come up with anything, there 
could be more — much more. But if you rip us off, we'll tell Vice 
and they'll lean on you every chance they get. Understand?" 

"I dig it, man, yeah." 

Fotinos and Coreris never got anything from Junior, or from a 
score of other would-be informants who contacted them as the 
days and weeks passed. From the slush fund they drew fifty dollars 
here, twenty there, an occasional hundred if the possibility looked 
promising. They even chipped in out of their own pockets from 
time to time when the slush fund ran dry. For the most part they 
were 90 percent sure that they were being taken, but with thirteen 
bodies and five near-misses behind them, it was almost impossible 
not to gamble on the longshot odds of the 10 percent coming 

Coreris and Fotinos were grimly determined about Zebra. There 
was not much they would not do to catch the killers. 

To work full time for them on Zebra, Coreris and Fotinos had se- 
lected two detectives from the Robbery detail. Carl Klotz and 
Jeffrey Brosch were both in their mid-thirties and had been police 
officers for a dozen years. Klotz was a big, stocky man with an 
easy grin; Brosch was smaller, mustached, an ex-army combat en- 

They chose two burglary men over homicide detectives because 
they wanted assistants with a fresh approach, fresh contacts not 
common to Homicide, fresh ideas on handling witnesses and fol- 
lowing up leads. They felt that they themselves had enough back- 
ground between them to satisfy any homicide aspects the case 
would require, and that two outsiders like Brosch and Klotz would 
give them a broader experience base from which to work. 

The work of the inner core of the Zebra team — Coreris and the 


Clark Howard 

immediate crew — continued to be the slow, methodical, tedious 
police routine that is indigenous to very difficult cases. Witnesses 
had to be interviewed and reinterviewed; anonymous tips had to be 
checked out; newly developed leads, however skimpy, had to be 
followed up; reports had to be reread, reanalyzed, reevaluated; in- 
formants — those who did not come forward seeking money — had 
to be discreetly contacted; photos of new suspects had to be 
shown; and hundreds — or so it seemed at times — of tiny details had 
to be attended to in order to stay on top of the daily routine. 

Some of the new photos that had to be shown to witnesses were 
pictures obtained during the mosque surveillance. The frontal 
shots of black men leaving the temple were enlarged, then the head 
and shoulders cropped into a second print that resembled a police 
mug shot. A great deal of caution had to be exercised in dealing 
with these particular photographs. Both Coreris and Dick Walley 
knew the official repercussions that would rain down on them if 
what they were doing became general knowledge. Still, to them, 
the risk was worth it. Maniacs were loose; they had to be caught. 

And the police officers were working against the calendar. All of 
them knew that the next killing — or killings — could occur any day. 

Yellow was restless. 

It had been nearly eight weeks since the last stings were made — 
and thirteen weeks since he himself had made a sting. Everyone 
else had gone ahead of him in the quest for Death Angel wings; or 
nearly everyone, at any rate. Even Rims, who had only been out of 
prison a few months, already had five stings to his credit: three 
male white devils and two female. He himself only had three: one 
male, two female. True, one of the females was a hacking, and the 
Death Angels looked with particular favor on hackings; but it still 
only counted as one sting. 

It was time for him to get started again, he thought, as he walked 
aimlessly up Webster Street toward Geary. At Webster and Geary 
was one end of Japan Center, a modern complex of shops and Jap- 
anese businesses. Yellow often wandered around the neighbor- 
hood there. With his cafe au lait complexion, he found that he felt 
oddly comfortable among the yellow-skinned Japanese, sometimes 
more comfortable than he did in the company of a group of blacks, 
particularly pure blacks without a trace of brown in them. 



When he reached Geary Street, Yellow crossed to a large May- 
fair supermarket on the northwest corner. He went inside and 
found the candy section. Much as a child would do, he spent a long 
time carefully looking over the variety from which he had to 
choose. After careful consideration, he selected a pack of grape- 
flavored bubble gum. He paid for it at the checkout counter and 
went back outside. 

Standing on the supermarket parking lot, Yellow chewed two 
sticks of gum at once and idly watched the people coming and go- 
ing. He had been standing there several minutes when a trio of 
young white people, two boys and a girl, dressed in some kind of 
uniforms, attracted his attention. They crossed Webster and went 
into the same market he had just left. Because he was curious 
about their uniforms, Yellow sat down on the concrete base of a 
light standard and waited for them to come back out. He had often 
thought that young Muslims like himself should have some kind of 
distinctive uniform to wear, some mode of dress that would set 
them apart from other blacks and let the world know that they were 
special. It was all well and good to practice good grooming with 
neat haircuts and no facial hair, and to wear nicely pressed suits 
and neckties like Master Elijah Muhammad insisted they do when 
attending temple and socializing and selling Muhammad Speaks on 
the street corners, but there was really nothing distinctive about 
such attire. For all anyone knew who saw them walking down the 
street, they might be bank clerks or shoe salesmen, anything. They 
needed, Yellow thought, something special — some kind of coat or 
hat — something instantly recognizable that, when seen would 
strike fear into the hearts of white devils and nonbelieving blacks 

Someday, he told himself, when he was a powerful and influen- 
tial leader in the Nation of Islam, he would design such a uniform 
for the young Muslims who came after him. 

The trio of uniformed whites came out of the market and started 
back up Geary Street. Yellow, putting a third stick of bubble gum 
in his mouth, got up and leisurely followed them. They proceeded 
up the long block, across from Japan Center, to Laguna, where 
they crossed the street and entered a neat, three-story building on 
the corner. The building was the Salvation Army Training School. 
The trio of young whites were Salvation Army cadets. 


Clark Howard 

Satisfied that he now knew what they were, Yellow walked back 
toward the market, popping his gum as he went. 

Some thirty miles north of San Francisco, in a rehabilitation cen- 
ter in the town of Vallejo, Roxanne McMillian, the lone survivor of 
the January 28 night of terror, was trying to learn how to use her 
now handicapped body to best advantage. 

Roxie, as her family and close friends called her, had undergone 
surgery twice at San Francisco General Hospital in the days im- 
mediately following her shooting. Then she had been transferred 
some eighty miles south to Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara for recu- 
peration. At the end of a month there, they had sent her to Vallejo. 

Roxie did not like the rehab center. It was not strictly a therapy 
school for people such as herself who had to learn to use braces 
and wheelchairs and other apparatus to compensate for damaged 
limbs; it was also a rehabilitation center for the elderly and senile, 
for the retarded and dysfunctional, the spastic and seriously epi- 
leptic. They all shared therapy classes together, which was eco- 
nomical but not, Roxanne felt, very practical. With her typical 
spunkiness, she approached with grim determination this latest 
challenge in her young life: learning to function as a handicapped 
person. But she did not feel that the people at the Vallejo center 
were given the proper treatment. Putting her in classes with very 
old and infirm, with mental retards, with preteen spastics, was not 
fair to her or to them. None of them received the individual atten- 
tion that .each of them appeared to need so direly. Roxie left her 
daily sessions as they did, feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied, deject- 
ed — and even more handicapped than when she started, because 
for the most part the classes only served to emphasize what she 
now could not do. 

Nights at Vallejo were worst of all. Nights were the times when 
she would lie in bed and involuntarily think about life as it once had 
been: life when she could do all manner of marvelous things. Like 
walk. Stand. Drive a car. Play with her baby. Be a wife to her hus- 

A lot of things she had once been able to do, they told her at Val- 
lejo that she could learn to do again, in different ways. There were 
cars with special hand brakes that she could drive. There were 



many activities in which she could enjoy her little boy as he grew 
older. She might even learn to stand wearing heavy leg braces. 

But there were some things she had to resign herself to not ever 
thinking about doing again. Some things that had been taken away 
permanently by the black man who said "Hi" to her that night. 

Some things she would never enjoy again. 

Anthony Harris had been away from San Francisco, living in 
Oakland, for six weeks, when he decided to make a quick trip 
across the bay to see what was going on. During the six weeks in 
Oakland, he had begun suffering from insomnia and had lost some 
weight. He told a concerned Debbie that it was just the new job: he 
could not get used to it and the fish smell stayed in his nostrils even 
at night. The real reason was that he was worried about whether 
J.C., Manuel, Larry, and others from the mosque were looking for 
him. He knew that once a man became a Muslim and joined a 
mosque, the other members did not look favorably on his leaving, 
unless he moved away and transferred to a new mosque in another 
city, which Anthony had not done: he and Debbie had not gone to 
temple since arriving in Oakland. He had thought several times 
about calling Larry on the telephone to see what was happening 
over there, but had finally decided against it: if they were not look- 
ing for him, a phone call might put the idea in their heads to do so. 
Better to lay back and wait, he told himself. Better not to make any 
sudden moves. Even Debbie, religious as she was, agreed with 

She knew that a man could get into trouble for leaving the 

But after six weeks his curiosity and the semisleepless nights got 
the best of him, and he made up his mind to go over. He did not tell 
Debbie what he intended to do; she would have worried and car- 
ried on too much, thinking that he was going to start running 
around with J.C. again, and the others she disliked so intensely. In- 
stead he said that he had learned from one of his co-workers at the 
fish market that a cousin of his from Santa Ana had just moved up 
to Oakland. 

"I don't know exactly the address where he living," he told Deb- 
bie, "but this guy told me where the neighborhood is. After supper 


Clark Howard 

I'm going to go over there and ask around. Maybe I can locate 

"If you do," replied the unsuspecting Debbie, "invite him over 
on Sunday. I'll make fried chicken." 

Anthony had chosen a Monday night for his trip; he knew that on 
Monday nights, J.C. and the others, instead of going to temple, had 
what they called their "social" meeting. Therefore there would be 
little chance of his running into them at the mosque. What he 
hoped to do was see someone he knew more or less casually, act as 
if he had not moved away at all, and see what kind of reception he 
got. If J.C. and the others were looking for him, he would be able to 
tell by the person's reaction to his presence. 

Anthony rode the Bay Area Rapid Transit train through the un- 
derwater tube across the bay, and got off at the BART station in 
the Civic Center. He then took a city bus to within a few blocks of 
the mosque and walked the rest of the way. It was dark and he pro- 
ceeded cautiously, a cap pulled low on his head to shadow his face 
further. To avoid having to identify himself to the Fruit of Islam 
sentry at the side or rear doors, Anthony squared his shoulders, 
stuck out his chin a bit, and walked through the front door with 
several evening worshipers. There were two FOI sentries on guard 
there also — clean-cut, well-groomed, neatly dressed young men 
with cold eyes and unsmiling faces — but they did not give Anthony 
a second glance. 

Once inside, Anthony stood on the dimly lighted side aisle of the 
mosque area and looked at the people whose faces he could see. 
There was no one there whom he knew. He waited as a few new ar- 
rivals came in, but still saw no one familiar. As he was standing 
there, however, he did notice several young Muslim girls come in 
and walk toward the stairs which led up to the second floor. Then 
he remembered: Wally 4X, whom he had known when he taught 
judo classes there, conducted a gymnastics class on Monday 
nights. Abandoning his position on the side aisle, Anthony slipped 
quickly over to the stairs and up to the second floor. 

He found Wally 4X in a small room that the instructors used to 
change clothes. Wally's eyes widened slightly when he saw Antho- 
ny. "Man, what are you doing around here?" he asked with a hint 
of nervousness. 



"Why?" Anthony asked. "Some reason why I shouldn't be?" 

Wally 4X shrugged. "Guess not," he said. He hung his street 
shirt on a hook and pulled a sweat shirt over his head. 

"Somebody been looking for me?" Anthony asked. 

"Not exactly." 

"Not exactly? What the fuck does that mean, man?" 

Wally 4X's expression tightened. "Say, man, let's watch that 
mouth, hear? You're not down at Black Self Help now; this is the 
temple. This is where we worship. This is where Allah dwells. You 
want to use gutter talk, go on out to the gutter." 

Anthony drew a deep, sighing breath and sat down heavily on a 
battered straight chair in the corner. "Look, man, I'm sorry, hear? 
I'm a little edgy; nervous, you know? I didn't mean to say that." 
He rubbed sweaty palms on his trouser legs. "Can you tell me if 
somebody's been looking for me?" 

"A couple of guys from Black Self Help have been asking about 
you now and again," Wally said. "Nothing real heavy, understand; 
just like, 'Say, brother, you seen Anthony around lately?' And one 
of the lay ministers passed the word around that if anybody saw 
you, to let him know right away." 

"Nobody didn't say what it was about?" 

Wally shook his head. "Some of the people kind of figure maybe 
you owe some money." 

"Some of the people, huh? But not you?" 

Wally did not answer. He turned away and resumed changing 
into his gym clothes. Anthony got up to leave. 

"Listen, thanks for telling me, man," he said. 

Wally looked at him and shrugged again. "Good luck," he said. 
But he did not call Anthony "brother." 

For some reason, Yellow fell into the habit of walking up to the 
area around Geary and Webster streets, and positioning himself 
someplace where he could loiter and watch the Salvation Army ca- 
dets as they walked from their school down to the big Mayf air mar- 
ket. He had found that nearly every night a dozen or more of them, 
usually in pairs or small groups, walked the long, long block — it 
was actually two blocks but was uninterrupted by a cross street — 
down to Mayfair for a snack of some kind. Yellow normally 


Clark Howard 

watched them from a tree-edged parking lot in front of the St. 
Francis Square Apartments, a large complex which set back off 
Geary some thirty feet, leaving room for tenants to park their cars 
in front of the buildings. There were trees along both sides of the 
public sidewalk for practically the entire length of the long block: 
city-owned trees on the outside, near the curb, and trees belonging 
to the apartment buildings on the inside, edging the parking lots. It 
was easy for Yellow to sit on a car fender or under a tree and watch 
the cadets as they strolled down from the school every evening. 
Yellow was fascinated by the young cadets. 

Man, they look good, he thought. They look right. Not cool, not 
even particularly sharp, but right. They are con-fident. Man, it 
would be out of sight if the Death Angels could be that confident. 
As it was, the Death Angels never seemed confident. Everything 
they did was done right now. No planning, no preparation: just go 
out and do it, sucker, and hope it turns out all right. 

That always seemed to be the way lately, he thought. Everything 
half-assed. Always a couple of pieces that didn't fit. Just like him: a 
piece that didn't fit. 

Wonder why that is? he asked himself with a sigh. Wonder why 
he didn't fit? Whites always seemed to fit with other whites. 
Blacks — the pure blacks — fit. well with other blacks. Even the light- 
er ones, the browns, fit with other browns as well as with blacks. 
Why was it that it was only him that did not seem to fit? Him — with 
his skin almost yellow, with freckles across his face, hair that was 
halfway between kinky and straight. Damn his mother and father, 
he often thought vehemently, for bringing him into the world as 
such a fucking freak. Better almost to be a white devil than the 
kind of misfit he was — 

No, I take that back, he thought quickly. Allah, I didn't mean to 
think that. I wouldn't want to be a white devil under any circum- 
stances. Better to have just one drop of black blood in his body 
than to be pure white — because Muslim law stated that a single 
drop of black blood made a black man. So please forgive me, Great 
Allah. I am thankful for the black blood that I have, and I curse the 
white blood that has diluted it. 

Without black blood, he thought, he would not have found Allah 



and been given Allah's strength to serve. He would not have 
known how it felt to have a heart so strong that he could kill the 
blue-eyed devil with no remorse at all — 

Except, Yellow thought, it was not quite true that Allah had giv- 
en him the heart to kill. 

Yellow had tried to kill before the spirit of Allah moved 
him. . . . 

It had been in the middle of summer, July, but the city was still 
very cool at night. Yellow, wearing a light raincoat and soft-soled 
moccasins, walked down Scott Street looking for a number. In the 
light of a streetlamp he found it. He went to the door and rang the 
bell. A forty-year-old white man, the building manager, came to 
the door. "Yes, what can I do for you?" he asked in an effeminate 

"Do you have an apartment for rent?" Yellow asked. 

The manager's eyes flicked up and down Yellow's body, which 
was obviously slim even under the raincoat; then the eyes rested 
on his light, youthful face with its sensuous lips and sad but pretty 
eyes. "Yes, I have one vacancy," he said. "Follow me, please." 

Yellow followed the manager up to the third floor. When they 
got inside the vacant apartment, the manager made a point of clos- 
ing the door behind them. 

"Some friends of mine told me you like to have sex with young 
black men," Yellow said. 

"Well, yes," the manager replied, "but you're not exactly 
black. Still, you are attractive. Would you like to have sex with 

Yellow nodded. 

The white man took off all his clothes and knelt on the couch, 
bracing his hands on the wall, his back to Yellow. "All right, dear, 
put the fucking thing in me," he said. 

Yellow, still fully dressed, was surprised to find that he had an 
erection. He had expected to be revolted by the sight of the naked 
white man. But he was not. Far from it. He actually felt desire 
coursing through him. 

Opening his raincoat and trousers, Yellow released his erect pe- 


Clark Howard 

nis and worked it into the white man's ass. Son of a bitch, this is 
good! he thought. He pumped a few times — only a few, for he was 
very quick — and ejaculated in a sweet burst. 

"Ahhhh — " the white man said, feeling good. 

But Yellow quickly changed that. In one coordinated motion, 
Yellow drew himself out of the man's rectum and, pulling a ten- 
inch butcher knife from his belt, stabbed him in the middle of his 

The white man groaned and slumped forward on the couch. Yel- 
low zipped up his trousers, used the flap of his raincoat to wipe off 
the wooden handle of the knife sticking out of the man's back, then 
went quickly through the pockets of the man's nearby trousers. He 
found a thick roll of currency, nearly four hundred dollars. 

"All right!" he said aloud to himself. 

Shoving the money into his raincoat pocket, he quickly fled. 

It was one thirty in the morning and Gus Coreris was on his way 
home, a place he had left at seven thirty the previous morning, ex- 
actly eighteen hours earlier. He had a stubble of beard and his 
mouth felt as though it had a throw rug in it from too many ciga- 
rettes. But in a way he also felt relieved: another night had passed 
without a killing — the fifty-eighth night that the Zebra killers had 
not struck. Every night, along about eleven or eleven thirty, Corer- 
is and John Fotinos would start to feel the tension easing out of 
them. Midnight was the magic hour; no Zebra crime had ever oc- 
curred after midnight. 

"That's because they're good, clean-living, American black 
boys," Fotinos had said. "They practice early-to-bed, early-to- 

"I thought maybe at midnight they turned into pumpkins," Cor- 
eris replied. 

Their kidding aside, when midnight came they both relaxed. 
They were all right, then, until five thirty or six that evening, when 
they would start to tense up again. After six o'clock, every time the 
Homicide phone rang, their stomachs did simultaneous flip-flops. 

Now, after fifty-eight days, they had begun talking in optimistic 



"Maybe the bastards died," Fotinos said hopefully. "Maybe 
they had a fight and killed each other." 

"I'd settle for them having left town and gone somewhere far 
away," said Coreris. 

But even as they said things like that, both detectives knew 
down in the deepest part of them, down in the part that made them 
the good cops that they were, that it was only wishful thinking. 
There would be more killings. It was just a question of time. 

But at least there won't be any tonight, Coreris thought as he 
drove home. The rotten bastards, whoever they were, probably 
were tucked in for the night and sleeping like babies. 

Coreris was driving up Geary Street. He always made it a point 
to drive past the Black Muslim temple whenever he was anywhere 
near it. He liked to look at it in passing; it somehow made him feel 
close to the Zebra killers. If only it were possible to get a man — a 
black policeman — inside that mosque, he thought wistfully. But it 
would be an impossible task. The Muslims were too careful, too 
strict about background, to allow a stranger into their ranks un- 
vouched for. Coreris grunted. Damned shame the Muslims didn't 
have the same problem. It was a known fact that they had several 
members in the San Francisco Police Department. After all, you 
can't exclude a man from being a cop because of his religious pref- 
erence; that would be unconstitutional. Next thing you know, Cor- 
eris grumbled silently to himself, there'll be American Nazi party 
members wearing badges and carrying guns. Sometimes he got a 
funny feeling that somewhere along the line the inmates had taken 
over the asylum. 

Tonight as he drove past the darkened mosque, Coreris saw a 
figure hurry down the street. As he passed under a streetlight, Cor- 
eris recognized him. His name was Willie Fields and he was an 
armed robber and statutory rapist whom Coreris and Fotinos had 
once sent to prison. As he walked briskly down the street, Coreris 
saw that he was carrying a package of some kind under his arm. 

I wonder what that son of a bitch is up to? Coreris thought. 
Slowly he pulled to the curb, trying to stay behind Fields so that he 
would not notice him. But Willie's criminal instincts were too alert; 
he saw the shadow of the moving car and swung his head around to 


Clark Howard 

scrutinize it. In the glow of a streetlight, he recognized Coreris. His 
eyes grew wide and he bolted down the sidewalk toward an area- 
way between buildings. 

Coreris leaped from the car and went after him. He saw Willie 
dash into the areaway. Pumping his legs, he plunged in after him. 
Coreris was not afraid that Fields might be waiting to ambush him; 
he knew that Willie was a gutless coward when it came down to 
one-on-one. He also knew that he had little chance of catching the 
younger man. Coreris was bone-tired after his eighteen-hour shift, 
and frankly could not ran as fast as he had been able to at twenty- 
five or even thirty-five. But even if he could not catch Willie, he 
would throw a goddamned good scare into him. 

At the end of the areaway, Willie cleanly vaulted a back fence. 
End of chase, Coreris thought. Then there was a thud on the other 
side, and he heard Willie curse. He hurried ahead, his chest heav- 
ing, legs growing warm. Reaching the fence, he peered over it in 
time to see Willie frantically gathering up some sheafs of paper he 
had dropped. 

"Freeze, Willie!" Coreris ordered. 

Instead of obeying, Willie clutched the papers he had retrieved 
and darted away again. In seconds he had disappeared into the 

"I'll get you, Willie!" Coreris shouted after him. Run, you night- 
crawling scum, he thought. He shook his head in disgust at the rob- 
ber-rapist. They just keep letting the bastards back out, he thought. 

Coreris had started to turn away from the fence when he noticed 
a manila envelope lying where Willie had stumbled. The asshole 
left something, he thought. Laboriously, he climbed the fence and 
got the envelope. 

Coreris made his way back to the car. Inside, with the doors 
locked and his gun on the seat beside him, he shined the tiny beam 
of a penlight on the contents of the envelope. There was a stack of 
perhaps ninety or a hundred pages of standard 8 1/2-by-ll -inch pa- 
per. Coreris flipped through some of the pages at random. As he 
skimmed, .certain phrases and passages registered in his mind: 

"... Why must a Muslim murder the devil? Because he is one 
hundred percent wicked and his ways are like a snake. . . . All 
Muslims will murder the devil ... is required to bring four de- 



vils, and his reward shall be transportation to the Holy City Mec- 
ca. .. . Good believers say, Islam comes first and family sec- 
ond. . . . You see us pulling the wagon filled with the dead. Help 
us and Allah will bless you. . . . We believe that the destruction 
of the devil will take place in America. ... If we divide our- 
selves into groups and each one wants an independent leader, this 
is the work of the devil (white race) . . . this dividing of the black 
man one against the other is the basis of the rule of the white 
man . . . the white race is always referred to as the devil, due to 
the wickedness of the people. . . . Devil means a totally wicked 
people . . . the enemies of Allah are known as the white race or 
European race, who are the sole people responsible for misleading 
nine-tenths of the total population of the black nation . . . love 
your brother believers as yourself . . . kill no one whom Allah 
has ordered not to be killed. . . . How long has the devil white 
man to rule and when is his time up? The exact day is known only 
to Allah. . . . Islam is the only religion that will survive the final 
war between Allah and the devil. Islam will put the black man of 
America on top of all civilization. ..." 

Gus Coreris sat staring incredulously at the stack of papers in his 
hand. God in heaven, he thought, can this stuff be real? Is this mad- 
ness actually being taught to people? Are black youngsters and lit- 
tle children being exposed to this — this — venom? 

He put the papers back into the envelope. Shuddering once, he 
pulled his gun closer to him on the seat, started the car's engine, 
and drove away from the mosque area. 

Yellow sat on the fender of a car on one of the apartment parking 
lots on Geary Street, watching an occasional pair or trio of cadets 
walk down the street from the Salvation Army Training School. It 
was almost nine o'clock; he had been sitting there for an hour. The 
evening was cool but Yellow was dressed warmly: lightweight rain- 
coat, wool knit cap, tennis shoes with heavy socks. 

Under his raincoat, Yellow had Skullcap's .32-caliber automatic. 
He had borrowed it earlier that evening, stopping in at Skullcap's 
apartment after leaving his own. At first, Skullcap had been reluc- 
tant to let him have the gun. 

"Man, don't you think you ought to wait until after we have 


Clark Howard 

another meeting?" Skullcap asked. "Until everybody decides that 
enough time has passed for us to start again?" 

"Nine weeks has passed," Yellow said. "That's time enough. 
Anyway, I don't have to wait for no vote; Allah has moved me: Al- 
lah has told me which white devils to kill and when to do it." His 
young face was tight with determination. "If you don't want to 
lend me your gun, I'll attack the devils with a machete, a knife, a 
broken bottle — anything. ' ' 

"Hey, brother, I didn't be saying I didn't want to lend you my 
piece," Skullcap corrected him. "You can use my gun anytime you 
want to. Alls I was saying is that maybe it's too soon after the big 
night for any of us to start again." 

"I don't have no choice," Yellow said resolutely. "I told you: 
Allah has pointed my way." 

Skullcap looked over at Rims; who had been in the apartment 
with him when Yellow arrived. "What do you think, man?" 

Rims shrugged. "The brother say he moved by Allah. It ain't for 
us to decide." 

Skullcap sighed quietly. There did not seem to be any way out of 
it for him. He did not really think it was too soon; if it had been up 
to him, they never would have stopped. What concerned him was 
that he wanted to be the one to start it again; he wanted to get the 
jump on everyone else with another big night like the one nine 
weeks ago; a night that would set the city on its ass again. In anoth- 
er week or so he himself would have proposed resuming their 
stings. Now it was too late; Yellow had beaten him to it. There was 
no way he could get out of lending him the gun. If he refused, ev- 
ery brother in the mosque would know about it the very next day. 
All Skullcap could do now was act magnanimous. He laid a hand 
on Yellow's shoulder. 

"The gun is yours for the night, brother," he said. Going to his 
bed, he reached under his mattress and got the pistol. Trying to 
look professional, he checked the magazine to see that the weapon 
was loaded, then handed it to Yellow. "Go and do Allah's work in 
safety," he said in his most reverent tone. 

Yellow had taken the gun and left. 

Now he sat on the fender of a car next to a Geary Street sidewalk 
and watched Salvation Army cadets stroll down to Mayfair Mar- 



ket. As he sat there, a white man walked by who reminded him of 
the homosexual he had stabbed and robbed the previous year. The 
man had somehow survived. But these devils tonight — they would 
not survive. 

He looked up the sidewalk and saw a young white couple walk- 
ing toward him. 

The Salvation Army Officer Training School at 1450 Laguna was 
one of four such facilities in the United States. This particular one, 
a well-kept three-story building overshadowed by a high-rise di- 
rectly next to it, was on April 1, 1974, accommodating sixty-six ca- 
dets from the thirteen westernmost states. Two of those cadets, 
Thomas Rainwater and Linda Story, both first-year students who 
had entered the school the previous September and were a month 
away from completing their first of two years, had attended a night 
study class from seven until nine, and then left the school together. 
They had ninety minutes of free time until the ten-thirty curfew 
and had decided to walk down to Mayf air market for a snack. 

Thomas Rainwater was a husky, dark-haired young man of nine- 
teen who had come to the Salvation Army school after attending 
Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, California, for one year. He 
was a native Californian, born in Monrovia, whose parents and 
fourteen-year-old sister were then living in the desert community 
of Ojai, where his father, Arthur Rainwater, with the help of his 
wife, operated a rest home for the elderly and convalescent. Thom- 
as had last visited his family three months earlier, over the Christ- 
mas holiday. 

Linda Story was twenty-one. An attractive brunette, she had a 
complexion that required no makeup. She usually wore her hair 
parted in the middle and pulled straight back into a bun. This gave 
her a rather severe look to some, merely serious, studious, to oth- 
ers. There was nothing at all pretentious about her and most people 
considered her a sweet, likable person. One of five children, from 
Hayward, California, she had attended Peralta Community College 
for Non-Traditional Study in nearby Oakland before entering the 
Salvation Army's cadet program. 

Just after the evening study class ended at nine, Thomas and 
Linda met on the stairs and together signed out of the building, log- 


Clark Howard 

ging Mayf air market as their destination. They noticed that several 
other students had signed out earlier for the same place and were 
still out, so they expected to meet some of their classmates either 
there or en route. They left the school, crossed Laguna, and start- 
ed down Geary. Neither of them was in uniform. Thomas wore 
dark slacks, a long-sleeved striped shirt over a crew-neck tee shirt, 
and deck shoes. Linda wore a skirt and blouse under a light coat. 

"Aren't you cold without a coat or anything?" Linda asked. 

Thomas smiled his easy, gentle smile. "No, I'm fine. Maybe I've 
still got some of that good Arizona warm weather in me." 

Just days before, Thomas had returned from a two- week evan- 
gelism campaign in Arizona. In a group consisting of Captain Al- 
fred Van Cleef and seven other cadets, they had toured the state 
addressing various religious congregations. Thomas himself had 
spoken before congregations in Phoenix and Tucson. His topic, 
which clearly expressed his feeling toward mankind in general and 
his own special goals in particular, was "One Life to Live, One 
Life to Give." 

"That was such a beautiful theme," Linda told him now when 
she was reminded of his trip. "You're very lucky to know exactly 
what you want to do in life. So many are still trying to decide." 

"I guess I am lucky," Thomas said. "I want to do orphanage 
work. That's all I've ever wanted to do, since the day I decided on 
this kind of career." 

Linda smiled. She felt good being with Thomas. He was such a 
good, solid young man; not so solid that he was solemn, as she her- 
self was sometimes thought of, but solid in that he was not flashy 
or loud or offensive in any way. And he had a good sense of humor, 
which she felt was important in a religious life. 

They walked along slowly, with Thomas on the wrong side of her 
on the sidewalk, talking quietly, neither of them noticing the light- 
skinned young Negro sitting on the car fender watching them. 

Half a block away and across the street, at the Miyako Hotel in 
Japan Center, two vice detail detectives, Dennis O'Connell and 
Daniel O'Brien, had just parked their car at Geary and Laguna and 
were on their way to the hotel on a vice investigation. Each of them 
carried a decoy suitcase of clothing as they entered the hotel by the 



garage entrance. They were using the garage instead of the lobby 
entrance because they were working undercover: they were part of 
a trap being laid that night in an effort to apprehend several prosti- 
tutes who had been stealing from Japanese businessmen staying in 
the hotel. 

Down the street, on the same side on which Linda and Thomas 
were walking, a woman named Elizabeth Ann Lee was in the bed- 
room of her apartment, the window of which looked down on the 
parking lot where Yellow sat. Mrs. Lee had a stereo set playing and 
was taping the sound track of a Broadway musical. 

A few doors down from Mrs. Lee, a man named Frank Richard- 
son was in a bedroom in his apartment, next to a window which 
also looked down on the same long parking lot. 

While Officers O'Connell and O'Brien were entering the hotel 
garage, and Mrs. Lee and Mr. Richardson were busy in their re- 
spective bedrooms, Thomas Rainwater and Linda Story walked 
past the trees that partially concealed the car where Yellow was sit- 

Yellow saw them and got down off the car fender. 

Allah is with me, he thought. 

Yellow's young face was again a mask of murder. His eyes were 
fixed, lips parted slightly, tiny bubbles of saliva accumulating at 
each corner of his mouth. And, as usual, he had an overwhelming 
urge to urinate. 

He slipped Skullcap's gun from under his raincoat and put it into 
his coat pocket, keeping his hand on it. Pushing quietly through the 
trees, he stepped from the parking lot onto the sidewalk and fell in 
behind the two Salvation Army cadets. 

They're white, he kept thinking. Pure white. Not like me. Not all 
mixed up with black and brown and yellow. They are all white. 

Guide me, Allah. Use my hand to strike down the white devils. 
Be with me, Allah — 

Yellow raised the gun to shoot the young white couple in the 
back. Then he changed his mind. I want to see the faces of the 
white devils when they die, he thought. And I want them to see Al- 
lah in my face. 

He hurried along the sidewalk, overtook the couple, and passed 


Clark Howard 

them. Going on ahead, he continued walking until he judged him- 
self to be a dozen feet in front of them. Then he turned, raising the 

Linda Story and Thomas Rainwater froze. Their eyes widened in 
surprise and fear at the sight of the murderous yellow face in front 
of them, and the gun leveled directly at them. For a split instant 
they remained petrified, then, as if they were one, they turned and 
tried to flee. 

Yellow was cool. The white devils, he thought contemptuously, 
were cowards. And he would not be blessed with seeing their faces 
when they died. But it made no difference. 

He shot Thomas first, twice, low in the back. Then he shot Lin- 
da, also twice, also in the back. 

Linda fell as soon as she was hit, and lay in the gutter without 
losing consciousness. Thomas, as had so many male Zebra victims, 
did not fall at once; he began staggering forward, lumbering heavy- 
footed like a drunken man. In the gutter, Linda started to scream. 

"No! Oh, no! No!" 

Thomas kept moving forward: twenty feet, thirty, fifty. Finally, 
at the driveway to the St. Francis Square Apartments parking lot, 
he collapsed. He fell into the driveway on his back, right arm flung 
out above his head, left bent grotesquely under him, eyes open but 
seeing only darkness. 

Behind him, Linda Story continued to scream. 

Yellow had stood watching in fascination as the white devil stag- 
gered away from him. The woman in the gutter had started to 
scream. He glanced at her, then ignored her. The white devil walk- 
ing away had to fall, he thought. If he fell, Yellow was sure he 
would die. Allah would make him fall. 

He watched, waiting. The screams from the woman continued. 
Again Yellow flicked his glance toward her, irritably now. If she 
did not shut up he was going to stick the gun in her mouth and pull 
the trigger. 

The male devil was a good distance down the sidewalk now, 
though only seconds had passed. Die, beast, Yellow prayed. Allah, 
make the beast die. 

The woman's screams penetrated his consciousness again. 



Bitch, he thought. He pointed the gun toward where she lay and 
fired a fifth shot. It missed her by several feet and buried itself in 
the ground next to the gutter. At that point the pistol jammed and 
failed to eject the shell casing all the way. Although Yellow did not 
know it, he would not be able to fire the weapon again until it was 

Finally the male devil fell. Allah be praised ! Yellow thought. 

Then he saw two men running toward him on the opposite side of 
the street. Plunging through the trees onto the parking lot, he ran 
from the scene of his holy carnage. 

The two men running toward the scene were O'Connell and 
O'Brien, the vice detectives who had been entering the Miyako 
Hotel with their decoy suitcases. As soon as they heard the shots, 
they immediately abandoned the luggage, then ran toward the 
sound of the gunfire. They did not see Yellow because he was in 
the shadows of the trees. But they did see Thomas Rainwater in the 
driveway and Linda Story in the gutter. O'Brien stopped where 
Rainwater had fallen; O'Connell ran up to where Linda Story lay. 
She was facedown in the gutter. 

"Where are you hurt, miss?" he asked, kneeling beside her. 

"My — back," she said. "My back — burns — " 

"Who shot you?" 

"I don't— know— " 

O'Brien hurried up. "The guy's dead," he whispered. He peered 
down at Linda. "You get an ambulance. I'll look around for the 

O'Brien drew his gun and stepped through the trees onto the 
parking lot. 

Frank Richardson had gone to the bedroom window as soon as 
he heard the shots. He was looking out as Yellow plunged through 
the trees from the sidewalk onto the lot. He saw Yellow trip on 
something, stumble forward, and break his fall by putting one hand 
on the trunk of a parked car. Quickly steadying himself, Yellow 
then ran down the length of the lot. 

Frowning, Richardson noted that the car Yellow had touched 
was a white Plymouth with license plate number DAD 368. 


Clark Howard 

* * * 

Elizabeth Lee was also looking out a bedroom window. She had 
heard the five gunshots and now she heard screams. The screams 
were a woman's and sounded terrible and desperate. Elizabeth 
opened the bedroom window. Just as she did, Yellow ran past her 

"What happened up there?" she called to him. 

Yellow, surprised, paused and looked up at her. For a split sec- 
ond, he locked eyes with the woman. Then he resumed running. 

Elizabeth Lee watched him run to the east end of the building 
and disappear from sight. 

On the street, the first two police units had arrived and radioed 
for an ambulance. Officers Michael Pedrini and Ronald Parenti, 
searching the scene, found the four .32-caliber shell casings that 
had ejected from the pistol. Officers in other units, arriving at the 
scene, began to spread out both in radio cars and on foot in an at- 
tempt to pick up the trail of the gunman. Gus Coreris arrived with 
Chief of Inspectors Barca to take over the Homicide investigation. 

"Those casings thirty-twos?" he asked Pedrini. "As if I didn't 
already know." 

"Yessir," the patrol officer answered. 

Ken Moses of the Crime Lab came over to take possession of 
the casings. 

"Call Mitch Luksich at home," Coreris told him. "See if he can 
come downtown and give us a definite make on these tonight." 

Park Ambulance number 82 arrived to take Linda Story to Mis- 
sion Emergency Hospital. "Looks like another spine-damage vic- 
tim," one of the attendants said quietly. "She's not moving her 
legs much." 

The other attendant nodded. "The dirty pricks that are doing all 
this shooting are either damn good shots or else the people they're 
picking on are all very unlucky. Spine shots nearly every time." 

Two captains, two lieutenants, and a dozen more units arrived 
on the scene, and a dragnet of fifty searching men had soon sealed 
off a large area around the shooting scene. They searched for sev- 
eral hours, talking to witnesses, trying to trace the killer's move- 
ments in and around the several large apartment complexes that 
lined Geary Street. But they turned up nothing. 



"If he had just run the other way," Vice Officer Dennis O'Con- 
nell said later that night. 

"Yeah," his partner, Dan O'Brien agreed. "He would have run 
right into us." 

But again a Zebra killer had been lucky. 

Yellow had escaped. 

At the end of Day One Hundred Sixty-four, there were twenty 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed with a single shot. 

Paul Dancik, shot down as he attempted to use a public tele- 

Arthur Agnos, surviving after his insides were ripped up by bul- 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death. 

Ilario Bertuccio, killed while walking home from work. 

Angela Roselli, surviving with nerve damage in her back. 

Neal Moynihan, shot down taking a Teddy bear to his little sis- 

Mildred Hosier, shot down as she walked toward her bus stop. 

John Doe No. 169, kidnapped, tortured, decapitated. 

Tana Smith, murdered on her way to buy blouse material. 

Vincent Wollin, murdered on his sixty-ninth birthday. 

John Bambic, murdered while rummaging in a trash bin. 

Jane Holly, murdered in a public Laundromat. 

Roxanne McMillian, surviving but paralyzed from the waist 

And Thomas Rainwater and Linda Story, the former dead, the 
latter surviving but critical, shot down on the street as they walked 
to a market for a snack. 


Day 177 

Coreris and Fotinos had worked through the night after Thomas 
Rainwater was killed and Linda Story wounded. They were at the 
shooting scene interviewing witnesses; at the Crime Lab where 
Luksich was working to match the shell casings found at the scene; 
at the coroner's office to retrieve the two bullets from Rainwater's 
body; at San Francisco General trying to talk to Linda Story, and 
retrieving the single bullet that had been removed from her in sur- 
gery; and back at their desks as the sun came up, wearily but me- 
thodically going over what little information they had. 

"Tennis shoes again," Coreris said, reading the descriptions 
compiled from witnesses. "This was the same little bastard that did 
Moynihan and Hosier back in December." 

"Different gun," Fotinos reminded him. 

"I don't care about the goddamned gun," Coreris said stubborn- 
ly. "This is the same shooter. And I'll tell you something else: this 
is a third guy. This isn't one of the bastards that was out on the 
night of the five shootings. This is the one that fits the oddball de- 
scription we keep getting every now and then. This punk is young- 
er, skinnier, and a lot lighter colored than the other two or three or 
however many more there are. And he dresses like a kid: tennis 



shoes, army jackets, ski caps. The others are sharper: they dress 
like cool dudes, not high-school kids." 

"Sounds logical," Fotinos allowed. "But the two guns worry 
me. I can't figure that angle. Unless it's a sect of some kind that 
keeps its guns in one place and allows any of the members to use 
them. What really bugs me, though, is what in the hell has hap- 
pened to the first gun. It hasn't been used in over three months. 
The last seven victims have been hit with this second gun. You 
know, if these bastards are smart enough to shoot half a dozen peo- 
ple with one gun, then dispose of it where it can never be found, 
and do the same thing with a second gun and a third gun, et cetera, 
et cetera, we may just end up with a case that never makes it to tri- 
al. Even if we catch them and stop them, we may not be able to 
convict them." 

"At this point, I think I'd settle for that," Coreris said wearily. 
"I think I'd settle for anything just to stop the killings." 

"Yeah. Well, we had a nice long intermission," Fotinos said. 
"Exactly nine weeks. But I've got a feeling we aren't going to be 
so lucky this time. I've got a feeling that another rampage is about 
to start." 

Coreris stared at his partner. He had long ago learned to respect 
the "feelings" of John Fotinos. "How long do you figure until the 
next one?" 

"By Easter," said Fotinos. 

Coreris looked at his calendar. Easter was two weeks away. 

Anthony Harris was watching television in Oakland when the 
program was interrupted with a bulletin about the Rainwater-Story 
shootings. Anthony tensed and glanced over at Debbie. She was 
dozing at the other end of the couch, her legs curled up under her 
pink chenille robe, unaware of the bulletin. 

Man, I am glad I got out of that city, Anthony thought. I am glad 
I got away from there, away from those crazy people over there. I 
don't care if I never see that crazy place again! 

But even as he thought it, Anthony felt the old sick fear begin to 
ooze around in his belly. It was the same fear that had driven him 
to go back across the bay the night that he saw Wally 4X at the 
mosque: the fear that some of the members might be looking for 


Clark Howard 

him. They had to be wondering where he went, Anthony thought. 
He had been gone more than two months and had not registered at 
any other mosque. They would have no choice but to consider him 
fallen away — and, he well knew, those who fell away were looked 
upon with great disfavor. 

For a while now, ever since his clandestine visit to the mosque, 
Anthony had been considering getting in direct touch with Larry. 
He and Larry had been close almost since the day Anthony got out 
of San Quentin. There had been a couple of minor spats between 
them, some disagreement in Muslim philosophy and principle; but 
on the whole Anthony still considered Larry a friend, and felt — to 
some degree — that he could trust him. 

This latest shooting, Anthony thought, could be just the excuse 
he needed to give Larry a call. He could say he saw it on the news 
and decided to get in touch to see just what was going on. He 
would not even tell Larry where he was; and if Larry asked, An- 
thony would make up some place and lie about it. 

Glancing over at Debbie, Anthony saw that she was breathing 
the even, measured breath of someone sleeping peacefully. He 
eased himself off the couch and stood over her for a moment. She 
did not stir or open her eyes. Leaving the television on, he went 
quietly into the bedroom and got his coat. While he was in there, he 
checked on Anthony, Jr. The baby was sleeping as peacefully as its 
mother. Anthony put on his coat and quietly let himself out of the 

Two blocks away, at a Chevron station, was an enclosed tele- 
phone booth. Anthony got a dollar's worth of change from the at- 
tendant. He still had Larry's number written on a Black Self Help 
business card Larry had given him at the Halfway House. He put 
in enough money for a trans-bay call and dialed. Larry answered 
on the first ring. Anthony tried to keep his voice steady. 

"Say, brother, this is Anthony. What's going on?" 

"Anthony? Anthony? Where the hell you been, man?" Larry's 
voice was nervous, hyper. "Where you calling from?" 

"Texas," Anthony said. "I'm down here in Texas. What's hap- 
pening up there, brother? I seen some bad stuff on the TV a little 
while ago." 

"Hey, man, J.C. and Manuel been looking for you." 



"Oh, yeah? What for?" 

"They think you done wrong leaving like you did, man. They 
think you ran out on everybody." 

"I didn't run out on nobody," Anthony said with a trace of irri- 
tation. "It's a free country, man. I don't have to ax nobody can I 
go here or can I go there — " 

"Let me tell you something, Anthony," the younger man said 
self -righteously, "when you a Muslim, you either with your broth- 
ers or you against them! You understand me?" 

"Sure, I understand. Hey, I'm always with my brothers, you 
know that — " 

"Well, it don't look like it, man. Running off like that looked 
bad. It looked like maybe you was an informant." 

"Who said that?" Anthony demanded. 

"Couple of people," Larry replied evasively. 

"Yeah, well those couple of people is wrong!" Anthony 
snapped. "I ain't been no informant on nobody!" 

"I didn't say it, man," Larry protested. His voice rose to a ner- 
vous pitch, a shriek, like an addict begging for drugs. "I ain't never 
said nothing about no brother! I don't say nothing I be ashamed for 
Allah to hear. Did you ever hear me say anything about anybody? 

"No, brother, I never did," Anthony said in a placating tone. 
"Calm down and stop yelling, man." In the booth, Anthony wiped 
sweat from his upper lip. Larry sounded like he was high on some- 
thing. Anthony had seen him psyched up on more than one occa- 
sion, but had never heard his voice sound quite so shrill and — 
crazy. "Listen, man, will you do me a favor?" Anthony asked. 


"Just tell J.C. and the Man and anybody else who wants to know 
that you done heard from me and that I be in Texas, and that I ain't 
been no informant on nobody. Will you do that?" 

"Yeah, I'll do that," Larry said, his voice still up. "I always be 
ready to help a brother, always. Allah knows I help my brothers." 

"Yeah, right. Listen, maybe I'll be coming back in a few weeks, 
and when I do I'll call you up, hear?" 

"Okay, man, okay." 

They said good-bye and hung up. Anthony stepped out of the 


Clark Howard 

booth. When the cool night air hit him, he discovered that he was 
drenched with sweat. He wiped his face with his palms. 

Larry was as crazy as the others now, he thought. He shivered 
once, involuntarily. No way was he ever going back across the 
bay, he told himself again. 

Hunching his shoulders to hide himself from the night, he hur- 
ried back to the apartment, to the baby, to Debbie. 

In his cubicle in the Crime Lab, Mitch Luksich had gone to work 
immediately making a microscopic examination of the seven new 
pieces of evidence he had: four expended cartridge cases and three 
expended bullets. He got out a slug and casing from the gun used in 
the earlier shootings, in 1973, and a slug and casing from the gun 
used in the five shootings on the terrible night back in January. The 
new evidence, he was certain, would match one set or the other. 

As he readied his microscope, he instinctively put the more re- 
cent casing-and-cartridge set nearest it to compare first. In the back 
of his scientist's mind, something told him that he would not be 
seeing any more evidence that matched the slugs from the earlier 
shootings. Luksich knew guns as few people did, but more impor- 
tantly he knew the types of people who used guns: the collectors, 
cops, marksmen, designers, dealers — and amateurs. The men who 
were doing the Zebra killings were, Luksich was convinced, ama- 

He had reached that conclusion early on in the case. Only gross 
amateurs would be running around trying to kill people with that 
kind of weapon and that kind of ammunition. A real killer, some- 
one who knew the tools of killing, would not be firing standard 
ammo out of a small-bore weapon like the .32 that was being used. 
A pro would be shooting soft-nose slugs out of a .357 Magnum or a 
.38 Special with a five-inch barrel. That was the way to kill. With 
those types of weapons and that kind of ammunition, there would 
not have been people like Art Agnos, who did not even fall down 
for five minutes after he was shot; or Angela Roselli, who was al- 
ready recuperated enough to resume walking; or Roxanne McMilli- 
an or Linda Story, both smallish females who had been hit at close 
range, yet survived. 

They would all be dead now — if the Zebra killers were not ama- 



When everything was ready, Luksich patiently and expertly ex- 
amined first the four expended cartridge cases, then the two bullets 
taken from the body of Thomas Rainwater, then the single slug re- 
trieved from Linda Story by the hospital. He compared them all 
with the sample set. They matched perfectly. 

Luksich switched on his Dictaphone and got the facts down on 
record. "Lab number 74 — 2316," he said. "Thomas Rainwater and 
Linda Story. Description of Evidence: Four thirty-two APC ex- 
pended cartridge cases. Two expended bullets from Thomas Rain- 
water. One expended bullet from Linda Story. Report Results: The 
four cartridge cases and three bullets from this homicide shooting 
were microscopically compared with those from 74-788, 74-789, 
74-790, 74-791 , and 74-792. 

"Paragraph. The microscopic examination revealed that the car- 
tridge cases and bullets from this case and those of 74-788 through 
74-792 were fired from the same thirty-two-caliber automatic pis- 

Switching off the dictating machine, Luksich pulled the tele- 
phone over and dialed Homicide. 

Linda Story's divorced mother, Jossie, had been watching tele- 
vision in the family home in Hayward, across the bay, the night her 
daughter was shot. Five minutes before she would have seen the 
news bulletin on her screen, the mother of another Salvation Army 
cadet telephoned her to ask if she had heard about the shooting. 
Mrs. Story was stunned. 

A Salvation Army major, George Baker, came to the house and 
drove Jossie to San Francisco to the hospital. It was not until mid- 
night, some three hours after the shooting, that Linda came out of 
surgery, comatose. Jossie Story cried at her bedside in the inten- 
sive care unit. 

"I can't believe this happened," she said over and over again 
through her tears. "She's just an ordinary girl, just like any other 
girl. I just can't believe this happened." 

Other officers from the Salvation Army Training School arrived 
and consoled Mrs. Story while they waited for Linda to wake up. 
By three o'clock in the morning, when Linda was still asleep, doc- 
tors decided to seclude her for the rest of the night. Major Baker 
took Jossie Story back home. 


Clark Howard 

Linda woke up briefly just before noon the next day. By that 
time, her mother and the major were back at her bedside. 

"Linda, honey, how do you feel?" her mother asked. 

Linda, who remembered exactly what had happened, spoke 
through pale, dry lips. "I — feel — grateful," she whispered, "to — 
be — alive — " 

The man who had shot Linda Story was not grateful that she was 

Yellow, standing on a street corner, read the morning paper with 
a tightly clenched jaw. Allah damn that white bitch devil! he 
thought. How could she have lived? The white bastard devil died; I 
stood and watched him die — 

Yes, he told himself, you surely did stand and watch, didn't you? 
When instead you should have been seeing to it that the bitch devil 
died. You heard her screaming, you knew she was still alive, you 
should have done something about her. 

I did, I did, he argued with himself. I fired another shot at her. 
But I must have missed. 

You were close enough to make sure that you did not miss, his 
conscience chastised him. You were close enough to put the gun 
against her head and fire directly into her devil brain. But you did 
not. You kept watching the male devil, watching him walk, stagger, 
stumble away. You could not keep your eyes off the male devil. 

I don't know, Yellow silently answered himself. I don't know. 
Thoughts of the white homosexual flashed in his mind. Oh, no! No, 
it was not anything like that. 

Why, then? Why, why, why? Was it because he was all white 
and you are only part white? Because he was pure and you are 
tainted? Because he was smiling, confident, and self-assured, and 
you are sneaky, weak, and inferior? Because he belonged to a 
smart, sharp, well-organized group, and you are only a member of 
a vile, disjointed, insane gang? Because he was entitled to wear a 
nice, bright, well-tailored uniform — and you were in sneakers and a 
ratty raincoat? Is that why you had to watch him die, instead of 
making sure she did? Because you were jealous of him, and she 
meant nothing to you? Was that it? 



Yellow dropped the paper into the gutter. He walked away from 
the corner, terribly disturbed. For the first time in his life, he was 
consciously aware that something was driving him to kill. Some 
dark, terrible thing deep within him. Some awful thing that seized 
his mind and took over his body. 

He did not know what it was, only that it had to do with white 
men and the color of his own very light skin. 

And that he could not control it. 

In the basement parking lot of the Hall of Justice, Inspectors 
Walt Ihle and Ken Moses of the Crime Lab set up a folding table 
next to a white 1970 Plymouth bearing license number DAD 368. It 
was the car that witness Frank Richardson had seen Yellow stum- 
ble against and touch when the young killer was fleeing from the 
scene of the Rainwater murder. 

"The witness said the guy put his hand on the trunk," said 

"Yeah," said Ihle, "but we don't know which side. You take the 
right, I'll take the left." 

The two police technicians went to work. Using a dark gray pow- 
der made of mercury and black chalk, they carefully brushed the 
entire trunk lid with soft-bristle brushes. As they worked, they 
looked for latent, or hidden, prints: impressions made in perspira- 
tion or oil by the fingers or palms. They went over the shiny sur- 
face of the trunk square inch by square inch. 

Whenever one of the men began to find a fragmentary impres- 
sion of any kind, a surge of excitement went through him. Four- 
teen people dead, six others seriously hurt — and the answer to who 
was doing it might be right there in front of them: an invisible but 
undeniable link to a mad killer. Each time a fragment of a print ap- 
peared, Ihle and Moses worked more slowly, more carefully, more 
hopefully. And each time, when it turned out to be just another 
smudge or streak or tiny scratch, they forced themselves to take it 
in stride and continue their slow, methodical work. 

Finally the trunk lid was finished. There were no usable prints of 
any kind. 

Ihle and Moses looked at each other, mutual disappointment 
clouding their faces. 


Clark Howard 

"The witness said it was the trunk that was touched," Ihle 
offered, "but the car might have been parked backward." 

"You mean he might have touched the hood," said Moses. 
Some of his eagerness instantly returned. 

"Sure, why not? It was nighttime. That lot wasn't all that well 
lighted. If the car had been parked backward, the witness might 
have assumed that it was the trunk that was touched." 

"Let's dust the hood," said Moses. 

"Let's," said Ihle. 

They moved their table and equipment to the front of the car, 
each took one side again, and began a new round of slow, tedious 
work, made easier by a surge of fresh hope. But in the end it was 
all for nothing. There was not one usable print anywhere on the 
outside of the car that did not belong to the vehicle's owner. Either 
Yellow had been wearing gloves when he touched the car, or his 
hand had not stopped moving when he made contact, leaving not a 
latent impression but only a smudge. 

Once again, the incredible luck of the Zebra killers had held. 

While Linda Story remained highly sedated in the intensive care 
unit, and the remains of Thomas Rainwater were being released to 
the Nicholas P. Daphne Funeral Home, which was providing the 
funeral without charge, the remaining sixty-four cadets at the Sal- 
vation Army Officer Training School attended a special prayer 
service. The meeting was held to pray for three people: Rainwater, 
Linda Story, and the person who had shot them. 

"Our feeling at this time is one of hurt, sorrow, and shock," said 
Captain Alfred Van Cleef . "But there is no hatred in us, no bitter- 
ness for the man who committed this tragic act. We know that Tom 
was ready for this spiritually. It is the rest of us who were not. His 
passing will leave a vacant space in all our lives. He was a popular 
young man — perhaps the most popular of all the cadets, as evinced 
by his election last month as student body president." 

After the prayer service, reporters asked Captain Van Cleef if 
the school was making arrangements for any special security for its 

"No, we have no such plans," the officer said. "We have asked 
the cadet body to use discretion when they go out, but we don't in- 
tend to put a shield around our lives." 



"Has there been any indication of outrage or indignation among 
the other cadets?" he was asked. 

"None at all. The feeling is a general sense of solemnity and in- 
trospection. We all know that we have lost a fine young mission- 
ary. Tom Rainwater had but one goal in life: to devote himself 
wholly to God and to orphan children. It is a terrible feeling to 
know that all his devotion and potential service, the work he would 
have done, the kids he might have helped, is all lost now. But we 
are not outraged or indignant about it. Because of it, I think each of 
us will work a little harder to help take his place." 

The reporters, unaccustomed to such calm reasoning, left Cap- 
tain Van Cleef feeling that they had been in the presence of an ex- 
traordinary man. 

Vandyke was back in San Francisco again, and he was worried. 
In the back seat of the big Continental, riding across the bridge 
from Oakland to preside over a loft meeting, he found himself 
fidgeting with one fingernail after another. These so-called Zebra 
killings had got completely out of hand, he thought. Never in his 
wildest imagination did he think that an entire city — particularly 
one as urbane and sophisticated as San Francisco — would put forth 
such a massive effort to stop the killings of — of — nobodies. But, 
then, he never expected that some of the Death Angel candidates 
would be so stupid as to use the same weapon or weapons on all 
their victims, and that the collective killings would subsequently be 
connected so quickly. He had expected the men to use discretion 
and cunning; if not that, at least common sense. But some of them 
had bungled things from the very beginning. 

He should have seen it coming, Vandyke chastised himself. As 
far back as the Hague thing, he should have seen it coming. When a 
grown man with a nineteen-inch machete cannot hack to death a 
helpless, bound, unconscious captive, something was vitally 
wrong. And those people who were shot at close range and did not 
die: that fellow Agnos, and more particularly the women in- 
volved — the Roselli and McMillian women, and now this Story 
girl — the whole thing had become ludicrous. In the name of Allah, 
why didn't those fools have the intelligence to shoot the people in 
the heads? 

When the big car had parked behind the loft building and the 


Clark Howard 

door was opened for him, Vandyke, followed by his two aides, 
went inside and climbed the steep flight of stairs to the meeting. 
The men were all waiting for him, their black, brown, tan, and yel- 
low faces shadowed in the poor lighting of the loft. In a few of 
those faces, eyes bulged out like great white oysters, reminding 
Vandyke of some old jungle movies he had seen as a child in Chica- 
go. It looked like the natives were getting ready to make juju. 
Which, Vandyke reflected, was not too far from what they were 

"Good evening, my brothers," he greeted the group. "Tonight I 
want to do two things. The first is to congratulate you all on your 
recent destruction of numerous white devils. The black man's 
earth is much better off with that many fewer grafted snakes crawl- 
ing about. You have all done splendid work for Allah during the 
past months. Now, however, I think it is time to move on to other 
work — and that is the second thing I want to talk about." 

He clasped his hands behind his back and began to pace. The 
men's eyes followed him intently. I've got to make this good now, 
he thought. Must get them to stop the killings before they all go 
down — and take me down with them. 

"It is time, I think, to put aside the destruction of the grafted 
white snakes — temporarily, at least — and move on to work of a 
more personal nature." 

Skullcap and Rims exchanged surprised looks. Put it aside? The 
campaign had only just resumed. 

"It has come to my attention," Vandyke continued, "that the lo- 
cal members of the Nation of Islam appear to be losing touch with 
our own people. I speak now of those who continue to worship at 
the churches of the heathen Christ, those who have not yet been 
guided to embrace Islam. We of the Nation seem to hold ourselves 
aloof from those unfortunate brothers and sisters who have not yet 
come to us. And this is not right, it is not proper. They need our 
help; we must step down to them and offer our hands." 

Vandyke stopped and faced them. He held out his hand to them. 

"I am therefore asking that the exalted Death Angels go out 
among our people and begin a new campaign to cleanse our people 
of the evils that plague them. Go out, my brothers, and help clean 
up the ghettos. Go out and help get rid of black pimps and their 
prostitutes — black and white. Help get rid of the black drug ped- 



dlers — those evil monsters who have paralyzed so much of the 
black race. Go out and find little black children who are not receiv- 
ing any guidance in their lives and direct them to our temple so that 
they may be schooled in the way of righteous thinking." 

Skullcap was frowning. The way of righteous thinking was the 
killing of grafted snakes. This very man had taught them that. And 
now he was telling them to stop? Before they were finished? 

"My brothers," said Vandyke, "there are many things that need 
to be done in our black neighborhoods, much that we can accom- 
plish. If you who are Death Angels go forth in the black community 
ready to do battle with the pimps, prostitutes, and pushers, then by 
the service you do your brothers and sisters, you will exalt the 
Death Angels to an even higher plateau than they have already 
achieved — " 

"What about the ones who don't be Death Angels yet?" Skull- 
cap said, rising to his feet in the middle of the group. 

Vandyke's mouth remained open, with no words coming forth. 
He was surprised; it was the first time he had ever been interrupted 
at such a meeting. At each side of the room, his aides started to- 
ward Skullcap. Unafraid, Skullcap braced himself to meet them. 
Rims rose and stood beside him to show the aides that his friend 
was not alone. 

"One moment!" Vandyke said sharply to his aides. This was no 
time, he quickly decided, for a show of authority. "As you were," 
he ordered his aides. He turned benevolently to Skullcap. "I beg 
your pardon, brother. What was your question?" 

"I said, what about the ones who don't be Death Angels yet? 
The ones who don't got their wings yet? What do they do?" 

"Why, exactly what the Death Angels do," Vandyke said with a 

"That not fair," said Skullcap. "Not fair to the ones who had to 
earn their wings. And not fair to us who has to stop earning ours." 

Watch it, Vandyke cautioned himself. This can be touchy. Peo- 
ple who are not very bright often have very fixed ideas about what 
is or is not fair. 

"Your brother Death Angels are not selfish men," he told Skull- 
cap. "They will not object to your working alongside them in such 
a laudable endeavor." 

"But I might object to working alongside them," Skullcap ar- 


Clark Howard 

gued. "Because I would feel less of a man if I had not earned the 
right to work alongside them." 

"In the eyes of Allah," Vandyke told him, "we are all equal as 
brothers. Allah does not recognize or reward for individual acts, 
only for the spirit and intent which are in the heart. " 

Bullshit, Skullcap thought. Then a cunning idea materialized in 
his mind. Two can play at that game, sucker. 

"Suppose," Skullcap said, "that Allah moves a man to keep de- 
stroying the grafted snake? Like this brother here." He put a hand 
on the shoulder of Yellow, who was sitting on the other side of 
him. "This brother was moved by Allah to destroy a white devil of 
the heathen Salvation Army. If a brother is moved like that, he be 
have to do what Allah commands. Am I right?" 

Vandyke felt his spine stiffen. He had trapped himself. He 
should have known better than to bring Allah into it. It was too 
easy to justify something in the name of one's god. Human beings 
had been committing atrocities in the name of sacred goodness al- 
most since time began. Even the Death Angels themselves were no 
exception. Even he himself would have been no exception had it 
not been for the fact that with him the religious part of it was sim- 
ply a means to accomplish an end. The real motive was to drive 
whites out of San Francisco so that blacks could establish a Mus- 
lim city in America. 

But sometimes one got carried away with using Allah's name. 
Sometimes it seemed that the simplest way to justify something 
was in the name of Allah. And sometimes doing it backfired. Like 
just now when this intense young man — what was his name? He 
was the young fool who had come to Chicago seeking a promotion. 
Well, no matter — this intense young man not only had interrupted 
him but had now virtually taken control of the conversation. 

"Am I right?" Skullcap aSked again. 

Vandyke had no choice but to answer. "Yes, brother, you are 
right. "But I must caution you to be certain that you are indeed 
moved by Allah and not by false pride or vanity." 

"I don't have no false pride," Skullcap said. "And I am never 
mistaken in what Allah moves me to do." 

"I'm sure you're not, brother," said Vandyke. 

For just an instant, Vandyke had a flash of realization that he 
had created a monster. 


* * * 

On the afternoon of the third day after he was murdered, funeral 
services were held for Thomas Rainwater at the Salvation Army 
Citadel. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Rainwater, and four- 
teen-year-old sister, Joyce, of Ojai, traveled to San Francisco for 
the funeral. 

During the services, the dead youth was eulogized by the highest 
and lowest ranks of his Salvation Army comrades: Salvation Army 
Commissioner Paul S. Kaiser, and Cadet David Chamberlain, who 
like Rainwater was a first-year student at the officers' training 

Said Commissioner Kaiser, "Torn Rainwater was a good soldier 
of Jesus Christ. The person who killed him is obviously a very sick, 
mentally twisted individual. We all pray that he will swiftly be 
brought to a place where he can no longer be a threat to lives." 

Cadet Chamberlain, in his eulogy, said, "Death cannot deprive 
him of being with us. Out of his loss will come a more determined 

The services were strained and tearful, perhaps more so than at 
the usual funeral, for the pews at this funeral were filled with row 
upon row of clear-eyed young people whose faces were filled with 
bewilderment and hurt. Why Thomas Rainwater? their expressions 
seemed to ask. Why a young man who sought to do only good, to 
give only a helping hand, to speak softly in a world of shouters? 
Why did such things happen? 

But there was no answer that day at the Citadel; there was only 
the question and the loss and the grief. And even had all the facts 
been known that day, they would have answered nothing. What ra- 
tional person could have understood the insanity of one religion 
which could turn a young man into a killer who would prey on the 
life of a similar young man from another religion? 

Monsters were not easily explained, even in eulogies. 

It was Easter Sunday, thirteen days after Thomas Rainwater's 

It was a bright, sunny day, and in San Francisco's Golden Gate 
Park an unusually large number of families and couples took 
advantage of the pleasant weather to enjoy an Easter picnic. 
Among those doing so was Bernice White and her five children, 


Clark Howard 

two of those teenage boys: Terry, fifteen, and Timothy, fourteen. 
For several hours that afternoon, Mrs. White and her children ate 
and played games and enjoyed their family outing. 

In another part of the city, a young merchant seaman named 
Ward Anderson boarded a city bus and rode across town to the ma- 
rina area near Fisherman's Wharf to visit a friend for a few hours. 
Anderson was a tall, slim young man who was dressed in the func- 
tional clothing of a sailor: jeans, wool shirt, waterproof jacket. At 
the time, he was signed on board a geological survey vessel, but he 
had the whole day off. 

While the White family had its picnic and Ward Anderson visited 
his friend, the two Black Muslims known as Skullcap and Rims had 
a philosophical discussion on the subject of murder. 

"I say it be all right to keep on destroying the blue-eyed devils," 
Skullcap said. "And the man from New Mecca, he say so too. You 
heard him." 

Rims grunted and nodded vigorously. They were sitting at the ta- 
ble in Skullcap's apartment, drinking herb tea. "That man from 
New Mecca, he didn't be want to say it be okay," Rims said with a 
grin. He pointed a finger at Skullcap. "But you be make him say it. 
You pretty smart." 

Skullcap shrugged off the compliment with what little modesty 
he could muster. "What I did was for the good of all the brothers," 
he said, trying to emulate the calm but authoritative expression of 
Vandyke. That son of a bitch, he thought. I got back at him good 
for the way he treated me in New Mecca: taking away all the Death 
Angel pictures, not promoting me to lieutenant, sending me back 
empty-handed. Well, I fixed his black ass good. I made him look 
dumb in front of everybody. They all know who be the smartest 
now. I be the leader of this bunch yet. 

"When you think somebody gonna kill white devils again?" 
Rims asked, squinting at Skullcap from behind his thick glasses. 

"Only Allah knows that," his friend replied solemnly. "Allah 
will move someone to act when it is time." He paused a beat, then 
added, "But it wouldn't surprise me none if it happened today. 
This is the heathen holiday they call Easter, when the Jew named 
Jesus is supposed to have risen from the dead. That be zombie 
stuff, man, but the Caucasian intellect believes it. Maybe Allah will 
move somebody today to show the devils how wrong they be." 



With that thought firmly implanted in Rims' s head, Skullcap left 
him alone, saying that he was going to visit a new sister he had met 
at temple. If Rims did what Skullcap expected him to, then there 
could be no criticism leveled in his direction because of the re- 
sumption of the shootings. It would not have been him who had 
started it after the representative from New Mecca had suggested 
they stop. Even though he had confronted the man at the meeting, 
it would be another who would kill again first. Rims, not himself. 

But he would certainly feel free to kill after that. 

So he left the apartment. And Rims remained behind alone, mull- 
ing over what his good friend had told him. 

At about five o'clock in the afternoon, at the Golden Gate Park 
picnic of the White family, the two teenage boys, Terry and Tim- 
othy, got ready to leave the park. They had been invited to eat sup- 
per at the home of a friend in the old neighborhood where they 
used to live. 

"Don't you two be out late," Bernice White cautioned. 

"We won't," the boys promised. 

They left the park and rode a bus to their old neighborhood. 

Ward Anderson, the young merchant seaman, spent the evening 
with his friend in the marina district. During the course of his visit, 
he smoked most of a pack of cigarettes he had brought with him. 
He made a mental note to stop and buy some more on his way back 
across town. 

After Skullcap left him alone in the apartment, Rims took the .32 
automatic from under the mattress where Skullcap kept it. He 
placed it on the table where he could look at it. Pouring himself 
another cup of herb tea, he sat back down and, as he sipped the 
tea, stared at the gun, waiting for Allah to move him. 

At the home of their friend, the White brothers had supper and 
stayed for an impromptu Easter party that went on past early eve- 
ning. At eight thirty, Terry told his brother that he was leaving. 
Timothy decided to stay a while longer. 

"Tell Mom I'll be along later," he said. 

Terry said he would and left. He walked over to Fillmore Street 
and got on a northbound bus to ride to Hayes Street, where he had 
to transfer. 

At the other end of the same bus line, Ward Anderson, who had 
left his friend's house, boarded a southbound bus, also heading for 


Clark Howard 

Hayes Street where he too would have to transfer. As he rode, he 
had an urge for a cigarette. Smoking was not permitted on the bus, 
but he would probably have time for one when he changed lines at 
Hayes Street. 

In the apartment, Rims stared at the gun long enough to psych 
himself into picking it up and putting it into his belt. He put on his 
coat and left the apartment. Starting to walk aimlessly around, he 
waited for Allah to show him whom to kill. 

Ward Anderson was the first to arrive at the Hayes Street inter- 
section. He got off the bus, simultaneously reaching for the ciga- 
rette pack in his shirt pocket. Twisting a finger down into the pack, 
he found that it was empty. Damn! he thought, crumbling the pack 
into a ball and tossing it into the gutter. He looked around for 
someplace to buy a fresh pack. There was nothing open: it was 
Easter Sunday night. 

As Anderson stood there coping with his nicotine fit, a bus ar- 
rived from the other direction and a husky teenage boy got off. Ap- 
parently also transferring, he crossed over to the bus stop where 
Anderson stood. Anderson bobbed his chin at him. "Say, you got a 
smoke on you by any chance?" he asked. 

The teenager, Terry White, shook his head. "I don't smoke," he 

Anderson walked over to the open entrance of an apartment 
building and sat on the outside steps. Several minutes later, two 
black women walked up to the bus stop to wait also. Anderson 
briefly considered asking them for a cigarette, but decided against 
it. They might get the wrong idea. 

Hayes Street at this point runs uphill from Fillmore to Steiner, 
downhill from Fillmore to Webster. The bus the four people were 
waiting for would be coming uphill from Webster Street to Fill- 
more, so most of their attention was directed downhill from where 
they stood. None of them noticed the black man, his head lowered 
and hands shoved in his pockets, who was walking downhill to- 
ward them from Steiner Street. 

Rims walked with his shoulders hunched, chin against his chest. 
Walking downhill, he did not need to raise his eyes to see where he 
was going. Down at the next corner, under the hazy glow of a 
streetlight, he could see several people waiting at the bus stop. He 



could not tell whether they were black or white. In one pocket, the 
cold handle of Skullcap's pistol had turned warm in his palm. Al- 
lah, give me a sign, he silently prayed. 

Ward Anderson was the first to see Rims coming. He had 
stepped to the edge of the curb and looked down to see if a bus was 
coming yet. There was none, but several cars moved past him on 
the street. On the off chance that he could get a ride, he stuck his 
thumb up hitchhiker-fashion, but no one stopped for him. It was as 
he turned back to the steps where he had been sitting, the steps 
where the two black women now waited, that he glanced up the 
sidewalk and saw Rims approaching. 

As Anderson stood there, with Rims still half a block away, an 
undercover Zebra unit drove by on Fillmore, heading south. The 
plainclothes officer in the passenger seat glanced out at the people 
at the bus stop. He saw nothing unusual. There was no reason to 

The Zebra unit continued on its way. 

Anderson continued to stand there. 

Rims continued to walk toward him. 

Allah, give me a sign. 

When Rims was close enough to him, Anderson said, "Say, 
man, you wouldn't happen to have an extra smoke, would you?" 

Rims walked on past him, making a low, guttural grunt as he did. 
His sign! That was his signl The white devil had spoken to him. He 
grunted again. 

Anderson stared at him for a moment. Terry White, standing 
nearby, glanced over, then away. Rims stepped into the street and 
looked up and down, both ways. Anderson turned and took a step 
back toward the building. Behind him, Rims, eyes wide and fixed, 
drew the gun from his pocket and shot Anderson twice in the lower 

The bullets ripped into Ward Anderson's body, tearing through 
his kidney and liver. He felt pain lace his right leg, felt it give away, 
and knew he was falling. "Son of a bitch," he said, and pitched 
facedown on the sidewalk. As soon as he hit, he braced his hands 
on the cement and raised himself enough to look up. He saw Rims 
running across the sidewalk toward the husky white teenager. 

Terry White had just glanced at Anderson and Rims, then looked 


Clark Howard 

away, when the shots sounded. He jerked his head back around 
and froze. By the time he realized what was happening, Anderson 
was on the sidewalk and Rims was running directly toward him. 
Terry did not even have time to think, much less react. Rims, the 
gun already leveled, fired twice more. The first bullet bore into Ter- 
ry's right side just under the rib cage. It split his liver in half and 
coursed up to collapse his lungs. The second bullet, as he was 
twisting and falling, entered his left arm. Terry hit the sidewalk 
scant seconds after Anderson had fallen. 

Rims, not even breaking stride, ran around the corner into Fill- 
more Street and ran north toward Grove. 

Three blocks down Fillmore was the undercover Zebra unit that 
had passed the bus stop less than a minute earlier. It was just far 
enough away for the shots to be inaudible. 

Within a square mile of the intersection of Hayes and Fillmore, 
where the shootings took place, there were nine other Zebra units 
cruising in various locations: a total of ten Zebra cars carrying 
twenty policemen. 

Yet Rims got away. 

He fled up Fillmore to Grove, ran around the corner on Grove — 
and disappeared. No one saw where he went — but he was observed 
fleeing around the corner. Yolande Williams, a seventeen-year-old 
black girl, had just driven her uncle and some friends back from 
Oakland. She parked the car on Grove Street and they all walked 
toward the uncle's house. Then, remembering that she had left the 
car unlocked, Yolande went back alone to lock it. When she did, 
she saw Rims run around the corner, shove the gun in his belt, and 
hurry down Grove Street. A moment later, the shadows engulfed 

Within ninety seconds, patrol units had blocked the intersections 
of Hayes and Steiner, Fell and Steiner, Fell and Fillmore, Fell and 
Webster, Webster and Hayes, Webster and Ivy, Webster and 
Grove, and Grove and Fillmore. The latter — although the respond- 
ing unit did not know it at the time — was the key intersection 
around the corner of which Rims had fled and disappeared. Police 
cars began to arrive on the scene in seconds. Scores of officers be- 



gan to disperse into buildings, yards, alleys, within minutes. The 
area was completely sealed off as quickly as humanly possible. 

But not quickly enough. 

Rims escaped. 

At the end of Day One Hundred Seventy-seven, there were 
twenty-two victims. 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed. 

Paul Dancik, shot down at a public telephone. 

Arthur Agnos, surviving after his insides were ripped up by 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death. 

Ilario Bertuccio, killed while walking home from work. 

Angela Roselli, surviving with nerve damage in her back. 

Neal Moynihan, shot down taking a Teddy bear to his little 

Mildred Hosier, shot down as she walked toward her bus stop. 

John Doe No. 169, kidnapped, tortured, butchered, decapitated. 

Tana Smith, murdered on her way to buy blouse material. 

Vincent Wollin, murdered on his sixty-ninth birthday. 

John Bambic, murdered while rummaging in a trash bin. 

Jane Holly, murdered in a public Laundromat. 

Roxanne McMillian, surviving but paralyzed from the waist 

Thomas Rainwater, shot down on the street as he walked to a 

Linda Story, surviving with nerve damage after being shot down 
on the street. 

Ward Anderson and Terry White, strangers, both shot down as 
they waited at the same bus stop. 


Day 179 

At the Hall of Justice the next morning, nearly fifty reporters, 
photographers, and television newsmen crowded into the confer- 
ence room to question Chief of Inspectors Charles Barca about the 
most recent shootings. Barca, when he entered the noisy, smoky 
room, had in his hand the latest laboratory report from Mitch Luk- 
sich. It was brief and to the point: 

Four expended .32 ACP cartridge cases. One expended bullet from 
Ward Anderson. 

The four expended cartridge cases and one expended bullet from this 
shooting were compared to those from Lab. No. 74-788 through 
74-792 and 74-2316. 

Microscopic comparison revealed that all of the cartridge cases and 
bullets from all of the above cases were fired from the same .32- 
caliber automatic pistol. 

As soon as Barca reached the podium, the rapid-fire questions 

"Chief, were the two shootings last night Zebra shootings?" 



"They were," said Barca. "I've just received a copy of the bal- 
listics report. It was the same thirty-two-caliber automatic pistol." 

"How many shootings is it linked with now, Chief?" 

"This particular weapon has been positively connected with nine 
shootings: five murders and four attempted murders. But the de- 
partment is convinced that these same killers are now responsible 
for a total of seventeen shootings involving eleven fatalities and six 
survivors." Barca was going all the way back to Saleem Erakat. 
The four prior victims — Quita and Richard Hague, Ellen Linder, 
and Frances Rose — had not definitely been connected to the Zebra 
killings as yet. The Hague case was a kidnap-hacking. Linder was a 
kidnap-sex assault. Frances Rose was similar to the street shoot- 
ings, but it was not an open case: Jesse Lee Cooks had pled guilty 
to it and been sent to prison. 

"Chief, are last night's two victims still alive?" 

"Yes. Both Ward Anderson and Terry White were reported by 
the hospital this morning as being in stable condition. Each under- 
went surgery last night for his respective wounds." 

"Chief, the last two shootings have involved two victims togeth- 
er. Does this indicate to you that the killers are doubling up? Trying 
to kill twice as many as before?" 

"I don't know what it indicates," Barca replied patiently. "It 
may simply be coincidence, or it may be calculated. These gunmen 
are obviously sick people. They are mentally disturbed. It is very 
difficult to second-guess a maniac, a madman, a — " Barca' s voice 
trailed off in frustration. 

"Chief, do you feel that you — the department — is more or less 
helpless in this case?" 

"Yes, I do," the veteran policeman admitted. "Helpless in the 
sense that I'm surprised how someone could be so lucky at not 
having been captured by now." 

"Are you going to add more men to the manhunt?" a newspaper 
woman asked. 

'We have the entire force mobilized now," Barca said. "It's im- 
possible, of course, to cover everything, every square block in the 
city. But we are going to refine some aspects of the massive Zebra 
patrol operation. Just how, I'm not quite sure yet. I'm hoping, of 
course, that we can catch these killers right in the act." 


Clark Howard 

"Sir, is the department still taking no official position on whether 
the killings are being committed as part of a black initiation rite of 
some kind?" 

"I can only repeat what I have said in the past," Barca replied. 
"The department has no reliable evidence to support such a theo- 
ry. There are, of course, as many rumors around as there are peo- 
ple in this room, and I'm sure individual police officers have their 
own private theories; but as far as the department is concerned, we 
are looking for two or more psychopathic killers. Two or more 
madmen. It's that simple." 

One of the madmen was sitting in front of the television set, 
weeping. Rims was overwrought because both victims were still 
alive and he was not going to get credit for stinging either of them. 

"They didn't die, man," he kept saying as a special news report 
on the collective shootings was being broadcast. "Them bastard 
devils didn't die!" 

"Hey, brother, I know what you mean," said Skullcap. "I been 
there, remember?" He pretended to console Rims, but secretly he 
was glad that the big man had failed. If he himself started moving 
again now, he might well catch up witli — even go ahead of — every- 
body else. He might still be the next one to win his Death Angel 

"I be right up close to them devils," Rims moaned. "I be right 
next to them! They both fall down. I don't see how they be still 
alive." He turned a pouting face to Skullcap. "You think maybe 
the TV be lying?" 

Skullcap shook his head solemnly. "TV don't never lie, man." 

Rims took off his glasses and dried his eyes on his shirt-sleeves. 
"Then it all be a mistake," he said. 

"The TV?" 

"No, man," he said irritably, "the stings. The stings be a mis- 
take. Allah didn't move me none. If Allah be really move me, then 
the devils they be die. But they don 't be die. So it all be a mistake. I 
just be a fool." 

"Man, you not a fool — " 

"Yeah, yeah, I be a fool. All my life. Dumb. Stupid. Idiot. Can't 



learn nothing. Don't know nothing. Always be do things wrong. Al- 
ways be get in trouble. Sometimes I think I be better off dead." 

Tears started to come to Rims's eyes again and Skullcap began 
to feel genuinely sorry for him. All the more so since with that pity 
came a pang of conscience brought on by the knowledge that it was 
his fault that Rims had gone out to sting in the first place. Skullcap 
had put the idea in his friend's head; he had suckered Rims into 
starting the killing again. Now, seeing the personal ordeal Rims 
was going through, Skullcap felt very badly about it. 

"Hey, brother, come on, don't be so down about it," Skullcap 
said, draping an arm around his friend's big shoulders. "It don't be 
the end of the world. Those devils could still die. Maybe Allah just 
making them suffer." 

Rims shook his head. "No, they don't be die. Every devil that 
died since we started stinging, died the same night. The devils that 
lived until the morning, they didn't die at all. That be Allah's way 
of telling when a sting be failed." 

"Well, even if that be so," Skullcap reasoned, "it don't mean 
nothing bad 'bout you. It just mean Allah not ready for those par- 
ticular devils to be destroyed yet. Man, look at all the stings that be 
gone bad for me. For a while there, it look like I never going to get 
close to no Death Angel wings. But then I start to catch up, and 
now everything looking good again. You just can't let yourself be 
so down, brother. Allah sometime put stumbling blocks in front of 
us. They be to let us know that what we have to do for Allah not 
always be easy. They be like a test." 

Rims sniffed. "You think Allah be testing me? That be why the 
devils lived?" 

"No doubt about it," Skullcap said confidently. "You be tested 
just like I be tested before." 

"What I gots to do now?" Rims wanted to know. He asked the 
question almost fearfully. 

"Just be strong," Skullcap told him. "Be strong and dedicated. 
The next time Allah move you to do a sting, it turn out all right. 
You wait and see. ' ' 

Rims thought about it for a moment, his big head hanging like a 
chastised child. So much had turned out wrong for him in his life- 


Clark Howard 

time, so many things had gone sour, misfired, fallen apart. The 
Muslims were the first things he had ever embraced that had em- 
braced him back. More than anything he had ever wanted in the 
world, he wanted to be a good Muslim, to be accepted as a brother 
by his friends, to be a permanent part of something permanent. 

Rims finally sighed a deep, wistful sigh that heaved his big chest 
and shoulders up. Then he looked at Skullcap and forced a half- 

"You good to me, brother," he said sincerely. "You thebestest 
friend I ever had." 

"Hey, come on," Skullcap said, almost in embarrassment. 

But deep inside himself, Skullcap was extremely pleased. Be- 
cause he wanted acceptance too. 

Coreris got in to see Terry White the moment the doctors at San 
Francisco General said it was all right. The husky teenager was 
awake but feeling miserable. Almost as white as the bandages on 
his body, he lay flat on his back, twenty-three stitches in his stom- 
ach, in constant pain because the drug they could only give him ev- 
ery four hours barely lasted half that long. Tense and uncomfort- 
able, he was afraid to move because he had visions of tearing his 
stomach open and dying before a doctor could get in there and sew 
him back up. 

Coreris sat next to the boy's bed and leaned forward. "How are 
you doing, son?" he asked. 

"Awful," said Terry. "Terrible. I hurt all the time." 

"Yeah," said Coreris. There was not much to say to that. "Do 
you know who I am?" he asked. 

"Cop," said Terry. 

"Right. Inspector Coreris. You just call me Gus, okay?" 

"Sure." Terry licked his dry lips. "Look, I don't feel much like 
talking right now. I hurt bad." 

"Just for a minute, Terry," said Coreris. "It's important. We 
want to get these killers before they hurt anybody else if we can. I 
want you to tell me what you remember about the man." 

"I remember he shot me, man." 

"I mean what he looked like, Terry. How tall was he?" 



"I don't know. Taller than me." 

"How much taller?" 

"Five ten, maybe six feet. I don't know." 

"How about his build? Was he skinny, stocky, what?" 

"Kind of stocky, I guess. I don't want to talk anymore. I can't 
think straight when I'm hurting like this." 

"You want to help us catch these guys, don't you, Terry?" 

"Right now I don't care if you catch them or not." 

"Just give me another minute," Coreris said. "What kind of hair 
did the man have?" 

Terry sighed. "Short Afro." 

"And what kind of complexion? Light, dark, what?" 

"Man, it was night. The guy was black, that's all I know. Now 
leave me alone, please. I hurt bad." 

Coreris went out to the hall where Fotinos waited. "Any luck?" 
his partner asked. 

"Not much." 

"Enough for a composite sketch?" 

Coreris shook his head. "I doubt it." 

Fotinos sighed in momentary disappointment. "Well, maybe 
we'll do better with Ward Anderson, the other victim." 

"Yeah, maybe." 

As they walked toward Ward Anderson's room, Coreris was 
deep in thought. His expression was fixed, reflecting intense con- 
centration on the seed of an idea that had just sprung to life in his 
mind. It was true, Terry White had not given them enough of a de- 
scription to warrant having a police department artist talk to him 
and try to work up a composite sketch. 

But, Coreris thought, nobody knew that except Fotinos and him- 

Anthony Harris woke up in Oakland that morning after having a 
grueling nightmare. He came awake trembling, cold but slick all 
over with sweat, his hands shaking like a spastic. 

Debbie did not wake up. Anthony eased out of bed and went into 
the bathroom. The linoleum floor was cold to his bare feet, but it 
did not bother him; he was too chilled all over to pay attention to 


Clark Howard 

any isolated discomfort. At the sink he ran water until it was hot, 
then he splashed it liberally on his face and upper torso. It warmed 
him up just long enough for him to dry and hurry back to bed. 

His side of the bed was slightly damp, so Anthony slid over close 
to Debbie. She purred in her sleep; she liked to cuddle with Antho- 
ny. Burying his face in her hair, he lay very still while her body 
warmed him. 

Anthony had been having nightmares for several weeks — almost 
since his insomnia stopped. At first it had been blessed relief to be 
able to sleep again. The insomnia had been nerve- wracking, ex- 
hausting. The first night he had not suffered from it, he slept like a 
dead man. The next several nights were the same. He began to feel 
human again. 

Then the nightmares started. 

The first one was of Jesse Lee Cooks walking naked down a lane 
lined with elderly white people. They stood pathetically on each 
side of the lane, old and wrinkled and stooped. Jesse walked along 
with his powerful black body upright and strong, a long-bladed ma- 
chete in each hand. As he came to one of the white figures, he 
would swing out and hack its head off. Left and right, right and 
left, both machetes swung like pendulums, lopping off heads, 
splashing the lane with blood. 

Anthony had awakened the next morning shaken and tired, glad 
to see a new day. What a miserable fucking night, he had thought. 
Scary. Awful. He was greatly relieved that it was over. 

Then it happened again. The very next night. 

The second nightmare was about J.C. The two of them had come 
to blows at last. They were fighting out behind Black Self Help. All 
the others were standing around watching. Most of them were for 
Anthony, against J.C. Anthony was feeling good; he was winning. 
Then suddenly he turned white. Actually lost all the color in his 
face and body. After that, J.C. began to win. The others crowding 
around began to cheer unanimously for J.C. Anthony was com- 
pletely outclassed; J.C. fought like Muhammad Ali: floating like a 
butterfly, stinging like a bee. Stinging, stinging, stinging — 

Finally, when Anthony was completely beaten and about to 
drop, J.C. and all the others drew pistols and fired at him at once. 



Bullets entered his white body from every direction and he fell 

When Anthony awoke the next morning, he knew instinctively 
that the two nightmares were not merely isolated bad dreams. He 
felt deep in his guts that they were the beginning of something terri- 

Each night they came. Each night a different one. Sometimes 
they were about Jesse Lee or J.C., sometimes about Larry or Man- 
uel, sometimes even about the others at Black Self Help whom he 
knew only casually. Sometimes he himself was in them, sometimes 
not. But always the nightmares had one thing in common: they 
were invariably laced with blood. It flowed from deep hacks cut by 
a machete, or from ugly holes made by bullets, or from broken 
noses, eardrums, larynxes slashed by karate chops, or sliced 
throats opened by a garrote. They were horrible in scope and 
scene, sickening to his senses; at times Anthony was certain when 
he woke up that he could actually smell the blood from his dream. 

As usual, he told Debbie nothing — and not telling her tormented 
him even more. He cared so deeply for her and she was so good to 
him, so trusting and loving, that it filled him with shame to deceive 
her so. But he did not know what else to do. There was so much he 
had kept from her, so much he was afraid of telling her, so much he 
had blocked out of his own mind and refused to admit anymore 
even to himself. He felt like a man torn apart inside, like two 
devils — no, not that word — two spirits were struggling to take him 
over. He had run away from San Francisco because he was afraid 
of the things that were happening there, he was afraid of the men 
he had fallen in with at Black Self Help, afraid of the stringent 
Muslim doctrines and restrictions, afraid of violating parole and 
being sent back to prison, afraid of losing Debbie, afraid of not 
ever being anything in life but a poor, pitiful nigger, afraid of — 

Afraid of everything. 

Admit it, Anthony, he thought, as he lay with his face pressed to 
the back of Debbie's head. Admit it, man. You are afraid of every 
fucking thing. You are the world's weakest man and biggest cow- 
ard. If you weren't, you would have done something about the in- 
somnia, and you'd do something now about the nightmares. You'd 


Clark Howard 

stop running and stand and face things. You'd try once and for all 
to square yourself with the world. You would for once in your life 
face the truth. 

The truth, he thought. 

It had been so long since he had associated himself with the 
truth, that he was not sure he even knew how anymore. Maybe he 
could do it, and maybe he could not. 

One thing he knew for certain. He had to do something. 

Skullcap was ready to move again. 

It was the second day following the Anderson- White shootings. 
Skullcap was up, way up. He felt good. Everything was falling into 
place his way — the way it should be. 

It was Tuesday. The previous evening, at the regular loft meet- 
ing, there had been considerable discussion about the two shoot- 
ings on Sunday night. Rims had come under fire from several 
Death Angels who already had their wings. Their criticism had 
been two-pronged: first, the representative from New Mecca had 
suggested in the strongest terms possible that the killing of the 
white devils cease for the time being — a suggestion that Rims had 
seen fit to disregard; and second, if he had to make a sting, he 
should have done it right and not let the devils live. 

Rims, already emotionally upset over his failure, tried to defend 
himself to his peers, but as usual he became severely agitated and 
ended up babbling like an idiot. It had been left to Skullcap to come 
to his rescue. 

"This brother say Allah moved him to sting the two white dev- 
ils," Skullcap advocated. "What would you have him do? Is he be 
supposed to say, 'No, Allah, I can't do it right now because the 
man from New Mecca say no?' I mean, who he supposed to listen 
to — some mortal man or the spirit of almighty Allah?" 

"If Allah had really moved him," said the Death Angel with the 
droopy eyes, "then the devils would have died." 

"Not so," Skullcap argued. "Not so at all. I myself have had 
three misses, and I'll call any brother a liar who say I was not 
moved by Allah to make the stings. And as I look around this 
room, I see several others who also have had misses. You, broth- 
er," he pointed to Yellow, "had a miss just two weeks ago when 



that bitch devil from the heathen Salvation Army failed to die — and 
I know you were moved by Allah that night because I saw you and 
you told me so when you came to borrow my gun." He swept the 
room with his arm. "No one in here who has had a miss will get up 
and say that he was not moved by Allah to try the sting. I challenge 
anyone to do it!" 

No one in the loft moved. Skullcap held their attention as rigidly 
as he had the night he debated with Vandyke. It seemed at last he 
was taking on the attitude and demeanor of a leader, and the other 
men apparently recognized it. When he spoke now, he was listened 
to with attention and respect. A few men in the group still shrugged 
derisively or otherwise showed disrespect, but they would come 
around in time, Skullcap was sure of it. His day as a leader of men 
was coming: he could feel it. 

The loft meeting had concluded without Rims being reprimanded 
for what most of the men considered a sloppy, impulsive sting; and 
he had been let off only because of Skullcap's determined defense 
of him. After the meeting, several Death Angels had spoken to 
Skullcap to congratulate him on the spirit he had shown in helping a 
brother. And still later, Rims himself had thanked him profusely 
and pledged perpetual friendship and support. All in all, it had been 
a good night for Skullcap. 

Now it was one night later, the Tuesday after Easter, and Skull- 
cap was all dressed up in sport jeans, a waist-length blue jacket, 
shined shoes, and a supercool knit cap. He was on his way to see a 
new sister he had met at temple. They were going to spend a pleas- 
ant — although chaperoned — evening in her apartment. Afterward, 
because the night would still be young when he left his hostess at 
the respectable 9:00 p.m. time set down by Muslim dictates, he 
would go out alone and begin a series of stings that would put 
Death Angel wings on his photo the very next day. 

He was right, he was ready, he was going to move. Without 
Rims, without Yellow, without even a car, he was going to make 
the night of the five shootings look like just a rehearsal. 

Standing in front of the mirror, Skullcap adjusted the knit cap 
just so on his head, pulling it down on one side so that it covered 
his unusual hairline entirely. He looked good without fancy side- 
burns, he thought; he would never wear them again. 


Clark Howard 

The last thing before leaving, Skullcap put the .32 automatic in 
his belt under his jacket, and slipped an extra magazine of bullets 
into his inside coat pocket. 

Coreris had made up his mind to take an outside chance. A far 
outside chance. One that not even the chief, not even the mayor, 
would know about. 

After leaving the hospital, he returned to the Hall of Justice and 
went directly to the office of Hobart Nelson, a police artist. "Ho- 
bie," he said, "I need a couple of sketches." 

Nelson's eyebrows raised. Like everyone else at the Hall, he 
knew what Coreris's assignment was. "On Zebra?" he asked ea- 

"On Zebra," Coreris confirmed. 

Nelson picked up a pencil. "Who's the witness?" 

"I am," Coreris said flatly. 



Now Nelson looked at him with a frown. "You could be asking 
for a lot of trouble, Gus." 

"Yeah, and I could be catching a gang of mad dogs too. I want 
the sketches, Hobie." 

Nelson pulled a large drawing pad in front of him. "Okay, wit- 
ness. Shoot." 

Coreris sat down and leaned forward on his knees. "Start with 
the hair. Black, kinky, but very neatly trimmed. Medium hairline, 
with just a hint of a widow's peak." 

Nelson's talented hand began to work. He concentrated intently, 
listening to Coreris but never looking up at him. 

"A smooth, clean forehead, maybe just a couple of slight wrin- 
kles. Ears close to the head, not protruding — " 

Nelson shaded in the black hair and quickly drew the ears. 

"Medium eyebrows. Medium eyes — make them just a shade 
close together. Nose narrow at the top, wide at the tip. I don't want 
a flat nose with big nostrils; I want less of a Negroid nose, but still 
more than a white man's nose. Does that make sense?" 

"Sure," said Nelson. "Something like this — " Quickly he lined 
in a nose, shadowed the nostrils, and showed it to Coreris. "How's 



"Good," said Coreris. "Very good. You're a genius, Hobie. 
Now let's make the jawline slope in a little so the face won't be 
square. I want the chin flat on the bottom, but I don't want the face 
square. Know what I mean?" 

"I think so." Nelson kept sketching, his hand moving with un- 
canny speed and skill. Literally in seconds he had made a nearly 
whole face appear on the page. "What kind of lips?" he asked. 
"Full Negroid?" 

Coreris thought for a moment, then shook his head. "No. Thin- 
ner than most black lips. A well-defined upper lip, slightly thicker 
lower lip. And nice-looking, almost handsome." 

"You got it." Nelson rapidly worked in a pair of lips that fit per- 
fectly the rest of the face's features. Then he began to shade: a bit 
of shadow under the bottom lip, a little more to accentuate the 
cheekbones slightly, a touch at the inner corner of each eye. Nel- 
son's hand moved here, there, everywhere — shading, erasing, wip- 
ing, intentionally smudging, adding a line, thickening a line, con- 
necting a line — until the sketch was complete. He turned it around 
for Coreris to see. The detective stared at it for a long moment, 
then nodded. 

"Perfect, Hobie. Excellent. Looks just like the son of a bitch. 
Now let's do suspect number two — " 

Judo telephoned Yellow the night after the Anderson- White 
shootings, before Yellow left for the loft meeting. Yellow sounded 
unusually calm and collected, so Judo assumed at once that it had 
not been his sting. When Yellow made a sting, he stayed high on 
the experience for a week. 

"What's shaking there, little brother?" Judo asked, trying to 
sound as casual as if he talked to Yellow every day. 

"Where you at?" Yellow asked at once. 

"What you want to know for? I ain't there, that's for sure." 

"You hear the latest?" Yellow asked. "On the news? A friend 
of ours made another sting." 

"I heard." 

"You know, you not too popular with people around here right 

"I don't think I ever was," said Judo. "Not really." 

"You was with me, man," Yellow told him. "You and me, we 


Clark Howard 

was close for a while. Then, I don't know, you changed, man." 

"I got tired of a lot of the shit that was going on," Judo said can- 

"How come you run off like you did?" Yellow asked in a piqued 
voice. "Without telling nobody?" 

"I just wanted to get out of it, man." Judo said. "It look to me 
like you and the others was going crazy. All you ever say was kill 
this, kill that, kill, kill, kill. That ain't no way to live, little brother. 
Can't no good come from shit like that." 

"It is Allah's wish," Yellow said devoutly. "We not be sup- 
posed to question Allah's wish." 

"Yeah, but is it Allah's wish, or is it the wish of that crazy suck- 
er that always be visiting our meetings?" 

"You speak like a nonbeliever," Yellow accused. "Like a hea- 
then, an infidel." 

"No, I just speak like I got a little sense of my own, is all. I ain't 
no robot and I ain't no zombie. I won't become like you and the 
others. I won't be no crazy man." 

"If you not with us, man, then you against us," Yellow said 

"Shit, man, I'm not against nobody. That's what I'm trying to 
tell you." 

"You know we can find you if we want to. You don't be found 
yet 'cause we ain't looked. But alls we gots to do is put out the 
word. We can have every brother we know looking for you." Yel- 
low paused a beat. "And not just you, either." 

In the phone booth from which he was calling, Judo tensed. 
"What you mean, 'not just' me?" 

Yellow did not answer. 

"Hey, man, I say what you mean by that?" 

"You figure it out," Yellow said. "It be your problem." 

Judo heard Yellow hang up. He took the receiver from his ear 
and stared at it. His expression hardened, eyes narrowed to slits. 
Yellow's words reverberated in his head. 

And not just you, either. 

The two young white men in the Vega station wagon were tired 
and exhilarated at the same time. Dressed in shorts, sweat shirts, 



and tennis shoes, their hair matted with dried perspiration, they 
had just finished participating in a grueling game of lacrosse with 
the Golden Gate Lacrosse Club at Funston Park. In the back of the 
station wagon were their netted crosse sticks, the sponge rubber 
ball, their pads and helmets, and the thick Rosin gloves which were 
manufactured in Canada primarily for hockey players, but which 
so many lacrosse players had adopted. 

"That was some rough game," said Jonathan May. He was a 
twenty-three-year-old cancer researcher at the University of Cali- 
fornia Medical Center. 

"I like them that way," replied Nelson Shields IV. Also twenty- 
three, usually called "Nick," he was a handsome young man with 
delicate features and a quick, happy smile. "The rougher the game, 
the better the workout," he added. 

May glanced at him with a grin. To look at Nick Shields, one 
would not have imagined him to be as tough as he was. But beneath 
the delicate features and slim, unmuscled body was a sinewy, wiry, 
hard-as-nails competitor, an avid outdoor sportsman who would — 
and could — play any game. 

"You sure you don't mind taking the time to make this stop?" 
May asked. 

"Not a bit," Nick replied. They were on their way to the home 
of Carl Connors, May's onetime employer, who owned the Pacific 
Rug Company. May was buying a small roll of carpet from Con- 
nors and had agreed to pick it up at the latter' s home that evening. 

"As long as we've got the station wagon," May said. "It'll save 
me a trip later." 

"No sweat," said Shields. 

Nick Shields was, if anything, a very agreeable young man. The 
son of a Du Pont executive, he was a native of Greenville, Dela- 
ware, and a former student at Hobart College in New York. He had 
spent the previous winter working as a fry cook in Aspen, Colo- 
rado, so that he could ski every day. Two weeks earlier, he had ar- 
rived in the Bay Area and temporarily moved in with friends, Vir- 
ginia and Sheldon Crosby, who lived on a houseboat docked at 
Sausalito. With him from Aspen he had brought a black, mixed- 
breed little dog named Lady. While in a coffee shop there, he had 
seen the homeless dog picked up on the street by an animal control 


Clark Howard 

truck. He had asked the waitress what would happen to the dog, 
and she had said, "I guess after a couple of days they'll put it to 
sleep." An hour later, Nick was at the pound, claiming the dog, 
paying a fine, buying a license. He had named her "Lady" and she 
had been with him ever since. The mutt literally worshiped Shields, 
almost as if she knew he had saved her life. 

When May and Shields neared the Connors residence, at 231 
Vernon Street, they passed the cross street of Shields, half a block 

"Nice of them to name a street after me," Nick Shields said. 

"You deserved it," May replied. 

They parked in front of the Connors home and got out. "Why 
don't you go in for your carpet while I straighten out the back of 
the wagon so there'll be room for it?" 

"Good deal," said May. He headed for the Connors front door. 

Shields opened the hatchback of the Vega and began shifting 
their equipment around. Some of it was in a large canvas mailbag 
faintly stenciled Domestic on one side and U.S. Mail on the other. 
Shields had to remove the bag, along with one of the crosse sticks 
and several folded pads, in order even to begin his straightening 

"This station wagon should be condemned by the board of 
health," Nick said to himself. He smiled briefly at his own joke and 
began whistling softly as he worked. 

As Nick Shields was leaning into the cargo deck of the Vega, 
Skullcap came strutting around the corner half a block away. He 
felt good. His visit with the new sister had gone very well. She was 
tall and slim and very foxy-looking in her Muslim robes. She 
seemed to like him too — and that was important. If he was to be- 
come a respected leader in the mosque, he had to cultivate not only 
the men but the women as well. In theory, Muslim women had no 
status; their purpose in life was to give comfort and support to their 
men, and to bear children. That was in theory. In fact, there were 
some very influential women in the mosque, women whose opin- 
ions — when translated through their men — often had a direct bear- 
ing on mosque policy. So it was important to get to know, and be 
known by, some of the sisters. Skullcap, after an evening at his 



charming best, making good impressions on the sister and her 
chaperone, felt he had taken the first important step in that direc- 

As he moved down the street, his lean, trim body picking up its 
natural swagger, he noticed a white man up ahead doing something 
at the back of an open station wagon. As he got closer, his eyes 
narrowed and flicked up and down the young man's body. Big 
jock, he thought derisively. Shorts, sweat shirt, tennis shoes, and 
what looked like a cargo deck full of athletic equipment. Skullcap 
grunted scornfully. A white jock — that was just plain pitiful. As far 
as sports were concerned, it was strictly a black man's world; 
whites just could not compete. They were too puny. This one that 
he was approaching, for instance: too skinny, obviously weak, 
pale — shit. Nothing. Probably dressed like that to try to impress 
someone. Stupid white asshole. 

Skullcap glanced up and down the street; it looked deserted. 
Might as well get started, he thought. Got a long night ahead of 
me — 

Skullcap drew the pistol from his belt. He walked to within four 
feet of Nick Shields and shot him three times. 

The three bullets went all the way through Nick and exited the 
front of his body. The impact threw him forward; he hit the side of 
the hatchback opening and rebounded. In a split instant, he was 
sprawled on the pavement behind the car, arms and legs flung out 
wide, the mailbag of equipment lying across one knee, his glasses 
down below his chin. He died instantly. 

Jonathan May was in the foyer, talking to his former employer's 
wife, Betty Connors. When the shots sounded, May pushed Mrs. 
Connors back into the house. Running to the front door, he looked 
out and saw Nick lying behind the station wagon. There was no one 
else to be seen. May hurried back inside and telephoned the police. 
Several minutes later, he and Mrs. Connors cautiously went out- 
side where Nick lay. They were reasonably certain that he was 
dead, but they decided to stay with him until help came anyway. 

May's call had been received at SFPD Communications at 9:27 
p.m. The radio dispatch went out seconds later. It was picked up by 
Unit 3H-2, which was half a mile away at Orizaba Avenue and Lo- 


Clark Howard 

bos Street. Unit 3H-2, was being manned by Officers Joseph De- 
Renzi and Manuel "Mike" Coreris. The latter was the nephew of 
Gus Coreris, who like Gus's son was also a San Francisco police- 
man. The unit rolled on the call and arrived at the shooting scene at 
9:30. As soon as the patrolmen had determined that it was a homi- 
cide and a probable Zebra killing, they secured the area and began 
the lengthy process of notifying the appropriate officers and 

Skullcap had begun running the instant he fired the third shot. 
But instead of running south on Vernon, which was the direction 
he had been walking, he unaccountably turned around and ran 
back in the direction from which he had just come. There was no 
good reason for him to have done so; it was an instantaneous deci- 
sion, made almost without thinking. Perhaps he did not want to run 
past the man he had just shot down; perhaps he was subconscious- 
ly drawn back toward the only place in the neighborhood with 
which he was familiar — the apartment he had just left; or perhaps 
there was no reason at all: it might simply have been blind action. 
But for whatever reason, he did run back the way he had just 

And almost got caught. 

As he neared the corner that he had walked around several min- 
utes earlier, he heard a door slam across the street. Stopping, he 
froze in the shadows up close to a wooden fence. He saw a man 
come out of a house across the street and look off in the direction 
from which the sound of shots had come. He was in his undershirt, 
smoking a cigar, and he had a pistol in his hand. He walked out and 
stood next to the curb, staring. As he was standing there, the sound 
of a faraway siren began. 

Skullcap knew he had to move, had to get out of there. But he 
did not dare step away from the shadowy cover of the fence: the 
man in the undershirt with the pistol would see him for certain. As 
an alternative, he quietly and slowly pulled himself over the top of 
the fence and slipped down into the backyard of a house that faced 
on the nearby cross street. He made his way across the dark, still 
yard until he came to the next fence, bordering the adjacent yard. 
Climbing it, he came down in a yard that was cemented. Walking 
softly, he crossed it to another fence and a third yard. 



The siren was getting louder now and Skullcap knew the police 
car would soon be there. And it would be only the first one; in mere 
minutes the entire neighborhood would be crawling with police. 

He climbed another fence into a fourth yard. His face and body 
were beginning to sweat. How many yards were there to the next 
street? he wondered. And how long could he keep going before he 
encountered someone in one of those yards. He was a stranger in a 
strange neighborhood; anyone who caught sight of him was going 
to be curious about him, perhaps even point him out — 

I've got to do something with this gun, he told himself. Got to get 
rid of it, hide it somewhere. Unless they catch me with the gun, 
can't nobody prove nothing. 

He crept along one of the side fences to the back fence. The 
yards from the side-street houses backed up to the yards from the 
street he had run down. Peering into the one immediately behind 
the fence, he saw in the moonlight that it was a small, neat yard 
with a single palm tree growing in it. Directly next to it was a slight- 
ly larger yard with two tall elm and two tall pine trees. Thick, un- 
cultivated grass and fallen pine needles covered the ground at the 
trunks of the trees; it looked like a part of the yard that was rarely 

Skullcap hopped the fence, which was only chest-high, crossed 
the yard with the single palm, and peered into the overgrown area 
around the four trees. He was sweating heavily now and his eyes 
darted from place to place almost frantically. The siren had be- 
come very loud, screechingly loud; then suddenly it stopped. It had 
arrived at the scene, less than a block away. In the distance could 
be heard another, fainter siren. And another. 

Got to do something! Skullcap thought. His teeth began to chat- 
ter, both from the fear inside him and the cool night air on his per- 
spiring body. Come on, man! his mind screamed at him. Come 

He snatched the gun from his waistband and held it next to his 
chest as he cringed up against the fence. His eyes were wide and 
unblinking, his whole body shivering, and from inside him came an 
occasional low, desperate whimper. He was like a ferret caught in 
a trap. 

He knew he had to move. Forcing himself to act, he leaned over 
the low fence and tossed the gun into the wild grass and pine nee- 


Clark Howard 

dies. Then he started hopping fences again, in a direction away 
from where he had heard the siren stop. 

The second siren was the Code Three ambulance Patrolman Cor- 
eris had requested. It arrived nine minutes after Nick Shields had 
been shot. Steward Butler, after two minutes at the scene, pro- 
nounced the victim dead. 

Patrolman DeRenzi had notified their company officers, Sergeant 
Cuneo and Lieutenant Abata, who rushed to the scene. Homicide, 
Crime Lab, Photo Lab, and the coroner were on their way. DeRen- 
zi and Coreris began to search the immediate area for spent shell 
casings. They were still looking, unsuccessfully, when the elder 
Coreris, along with John Fotinos, reached the scene. Within min- 
utes, Chief of Inspectors Barca was also there, along with Captain 
Taylor, Captain Schules, Lieutenant Ellis, and a dozen policemen 
from the surrounding area. Moses and Ihle of the Crime Lab ar- 
rived and joined the search for the shell casings. 

Gus Coreris pulled his nephew Mike away from the area of the 
station wagon and directed him toward the opposite side of the 
street. "Those casings could have hit the vehicle and ricocheted," 
he said. "Check over in that area. " 

"Right, Unk. I mean, Inspector." 

The elder Coreris's theory had been right: Mike found a casing 
twenty-five feet away. The Crime Lab men found the other two: 
Ihle located one inside the station wagon, buried in the athletic 
equipment; Moses found the third near a garage door where he had 
also located one of the slugs. The other two slugs that had passed 
through Shields' s body were located under the Vega wagon. 

"Did we get the surrounding area blocked off?" Coreris asked 
Fotinos after they had been there several minutes. 

"Yeah, but not too quick," Fotinos said. "There weren't any 
units nearby. It took a few minutes to get them pulled out of the 
main area." 

Coreris had been afraid of that. The main Zebra patrol zone was 
a six-square-mile area which included downtown, Alamo Square, 
South of Market, Japan Center, Jefferson Square, and the Panhan- 
dle. Thirteen of the nineteen incidents had taken place in that area. 
The secondary zone of patrol was a three-square-mile section from 



Balboa Park to the South Basin, and Sutter Playground to Tomp- 
kins Street. Four other incidents had occurred within those bound- 
aries. The two remaining incidents had been isolated. As was this 
new one, Coreris thought. He estimated that the Shields shooting 
was five miles outside the primary patrol zone, and three miles out- 
side the secondary patrol zone. It would have taken the dragnet 
units several minutes to seal off the area. They might snag some- 
body in the net — but it was doubtful. 

"Well," Coreris sighed, "we can't cover every block in the 
whole goddamned city. I wish we could." 

"I'll check with patrol," Fotinos said. "Maybe we got lucky." 

They did not get lucky. Skullcap did. 

He finally came out of the maze of backyards onto Ralston 
Street, one street over and one street down from the scene of the 
shooting. From there he walked two blocks to Beverly and one 
block up to Garfield. Then he cut over one block to Junipero Serra 
Boulevard. There he composed himself as best he could and calm- 
ly — at least outwardly calmly — boarded a city bus. He had no idea 
that in making his escape from the scene of this, his last shooting, 
he had walked past the home of the survivors of his first victim. 
For at 230 Beverly was the family home of Saleem Erakat. 

Skullcap's spectacular night of death had proved to be short- 
lived, but at the moment he did not care. He had acted like a fool 
by trying to start the evening with such an impulsive sting, but he 
was not chastising himself for it. He had almost been trapped at the 
scene, but he was not mentally berating himself. He had been 
forced — at least temporarily — to dispose of his gun, but that was 
all right too. Everything was all right — so long as he got away. He 
was almost physically ill with fear, but he still had enough compo- 
sure to realize that the only thing that mattered was that he had es- 

Allah is with me, he thought. 

It was the first completely sincere Muslim thought he had ever 

At the end of Day One Hundred Seventy-nine, there were 
twenty-three victims. 


Clark Howard 

Quita Hague, hacked to death. 

Richard Hague, his face butchered. 

Ellen Linder, raped, ravaged, threatened with death. 

Frances Rose, her face blown apart by close-range gunshots. 

Saleem Erakat, tied up and executed. 

Paul Dancik, shot down at a public telephone. 

Arthur Agnos, surviving after his insides were ripped up by bul- 

Marietta DiGirolamo, thrown into a doorway and shot to death. 

Ilario Bertuccio, killed while walking home from work. 

Angela Roselli, surviving with nerve damage in her back. 

Neal Moynihan, shot down while taking a Teddy bear to his little 

Mildred Hosier, shot down while walking toward her bus stop. 

John Doe No. 169, kidnapped, tortured, butchered, decapitated. 

Tana Smith, murdered on her way to buy blouse material. 

Vincent Wollin, murdered on his sixty-ninth birthday. 

John Bambic, murdered while rummaging in a trash bin. 

Jane Holly, murdered in a public Laundromat. 

Roxanne McMillian, surviving but paralyzed from the waist 

Thomas Rainwater, shot down on the street as he walked to a 

Linda Story, surviving with nerve damage in her back. 

Ward Anderson, surviving but in serious condition after being 
shot down at a city bus stop. 

Terry White, also surviving, also in serious condition, after be- 
ing shot down at the same city bus stop. 

And Nelson Shields IV, shot three times in the back as he was 
straightening out the cargo deck of his station wagon. 

The one hundred seventy-nine days of terror had ended. The Ze- 
bra killers had assaulted twenty-three persons on the streets of San 

Only eight had survived. 

Fifteen had been killed. 



Aftermath tolerror 

The Confession 

When Anthony Harris picked up the newspaper and saw the two 
sketches Hobart Nelson had drawn for Gus Coreris, his entire 
body turned ice-cold. 

Jesus Christ, he thought, that's me! 

Not: Great Allah, that's me. Jesus Christ, that's me. 

He stared at the reward poster reproduced on the front page. In 
letters two inches high across the top of the poster, it said: 



Immediately beneath that, side by side, were two lifelike 
sketches of black faces: the original one that Coreris had described 
for Hobart Nelson, and a second one, very similar except that the 
face was slimmer, had a narrower, rounder chin, higher cheek- 
bones, a little more hair, and was wearing a knit cap. 

Below the pictures was printed: 



Clark Howard 






The same edition of the paper ran a small item explaining the in- 
crease in the amount of the reward. The Arab community had post- 
ed the original reward of ten thousand dollars following the death 
of Saleem Erakat. Later, the Examiner added five thousand, and 
an anonymous San Francisco corporation put up an additional five 
thousand. Now an anonymous "civic-minded citizen" contributed 
five thousand more, and Mayor Alioto released the news that still 
another five thousand had been authorized from city funds. The to- 
tal came to thirty thousand dollars. 

As he stared at the two sketches, Anthony was convinced that 
the one without the cap was himself. And the one with the cap was 
Larry Green. 

Standing at the newspaper vending rack, he suddenly had the 
strange feeling that he was being watched. Quickly folding the pa- 
per to conceal the sketches, he glanced around to see who might be 
looking at him. There were several people nearby, some of them 
looking at papers of their own as they waited at a bus stop. None of 
them seemed to be paying any attention to him, Anthony thought. 

Then he saw the little black kid. 

The boy was nine or ten. He had wandered away from the bus 
stop where his mother stood, and was looking at the next paper in 
the vending rack. He stared at the sketches, then looked up at An- 
thony, seeming to study him. Anthony watched him for a moment, 
watched the way his eyes went from the paper up to Anthony's 
face and back again. Sweat popped out on Anthony's brow and up- 
per lip. 

That little kid knows, he thought frantically. His mixed-up mind 
did not define for him exactly what it was that he thought the boy 



knew; he simply panicked at the thought that someone might be 
thinking the same thing that he was thinking: that the face in the 
sketch was him. 

Lowering his head, Anthony walked quickly away from the 
newspaper rack and the little boy. He hurried down the block and 
around the corner. Almost without thinking about it, he returned to 
the apartment. Debbie looked up in surprise when he let himself in. 

"Anthony, what's the matter?" she asked in concern. "I 
thought you'd be to work by now." 

"I ain't going to work today," he said despondently. "I'm sick." 

He laid the newspaper on the arm of the couch and went into the 
bedroom. Debbie stared after him curiously. Then she looked 
down at the paper and saw the sketches. The breath caught in her 

"Oh, my God— " 

The San Francisco Chronicle's headline the day after the Nelson 
Shields killing aptly described what the authorities had decided to 
do. It read: 


The Examiner echoed the determination: 


Mayor Joseph Alioto, along with Police Chief Donald Scott, had 
already announced to the city what was going to happen. Said Ali- 
oto: "Police will begin stopping large numbers of black citizens 
throughout the city for questioning in the search for a suspect in 
the wave of random street killings. Officers have been supplied 
with the first complete description and sketches of the killers. We 
are going to be stopping people who resemble these sketches and 
descriptions — which means we're going to be stopping a lot of peo- 
ple. This is an extraordinary situation and it calls for extreme 
measures. We ask the cooperation of citizens and want to assure 
them that we will be mindful of their constitutional rights." 


Clark Howard 

Chief Scott, participating in the unprecedented announcement, 
added, "The police department has blanketed the city with both 
auto and foot patrols in order to carry out this operation. The only 
persons who will be stopped will be those who match the descrip- 
tions of the suspects in the police drawing. We are partitioning the 
city into a grid of six police patrol zones and sending in an addition- 
al one hundred fifty specially picked officers — most of them detec- 
tives from elite bureaus such as Homicide and Crime Prevention, 
as well as veteran policemen from the district stations. The peak 
concentration of our surveillance will be between dusk and mid- 
night. These men will carry out street searches of any blacks on the 
streets who resemble the sketches. This 'stop-and-search' tactic 
will also apply to motorists. We realize that some people are going 
to resent this effort. We are sorry for that. But extraordinary mea- 
sures are called for in this case." 

Dr. Washington Garner, black member of the three-man police 
commission, later added his own comments for the black com- 
munity: "I know that many of you who are stopped are going to be 
angered," he said. "Especially those of you whom the police offi- 
cers decide to search. But I would like to appeal to all of you not to 
resent it. I ask you all to remember that when the Nob Hill Rapist 
was at large, literally hundreds of white citizens were subjected to 
exactly the same tactic. Try to understand that this is not a racial 

There were some, however, who could not — or would not — 

Congressman Jerome R. Waldie, a Democrat from Antioch, Cal- 
ifornia, immediately criticized Mayor Alioto. "Though I fully 
share the concern of the mayor and all people that the Zebra killers 
be quickly apprehended," he said, "we cannot justify the suspen- 
sion of the civil liberties and constitutional guarantees of any class 
of Americans. Even in this worthwhile effort, the suspension of 
constitutional protection for young black males as a group is un- 
warranted and must be resisted. A philosophy such as the mayor 
and Chief Scott are following is exactly what led the Nixon Ad- 
ministration to condone wiretapping, burglary, and enemies lists. 
The police should be given every legitimate resource and coopera- 
tion they need to apprehend these vicious and insane killers, but 



they do not require and should not be given the right to suspend the 
Constitution as it applies to young black males." 

Paul Halvonic, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties 
Union, was more specific. "This is a racist outrage and a violation 
of the rights of every black man in the city. Our organization in- 
tends to pursue all appropriate legal action to halt these stop-and- 
search tactics as soon as possible." 

Benjamin James, an attorney for the National Association for 
the Advancement of Colored People, said his group was also look- 
ing into the possibility of some kind of injunctive relief. "The po- 
lice are going a bit far," he said. "The descriptions they're talking 
about fit sixty percent of the young blacks on the streets." 

Black Panther leader Bobby Seale said the mass questionings 
placed "every black man in the Bay Area in jeopardy of losing his 
life. It is a vicious and racist action." 

While the political battle raged, Chief Scott's men quietly went 
into the streets and began the stop-and-search routine. They 
stopped more than a hundred black men the first night. The follow- 
ing day, there were more outraged protests. 

The Reverend Cecil Williams, of a local black church, declared 
that the entire black community was under "a police state that 
could erupt into a racial war." 

Bobby Seale spoke out again. "If they are going to try to arrest 
every black man who may resemble the so-called Zebra killer, then 
why not arrest every white girl who may resemble Patricia 

A group from the Progressive Labor party, about seventy-five 
strong, conducted a demonstration outside Mayor Alioto's home, 
chanting, "Alioto is a Nazi! Alioto is a Nazi!" 

Stop-and-search continued. By the end of the second night, 
more than two hundred young blacks had been stopped. By the end 
of the third, three hundred. The police began issuing specially 
printed "Zebra Check" cards: identification cards about the size of 
a driver's license, containing space for an individual's name, ad- 
dress, driver's license number, Social Security number, and the 
date, time, and location where he was stopped. The officer making 
the stop had to sign the card and note his badge number. If the per- 
son was then stopped again, all he had to do was show the card 


Clark Howard 

along with his identification, and he was allowed to proceed with- 
out further delay. 

The black organizations were not satisfied. They were deter- 
mined to interfere with the police effort in any way they could. The 
threatened legal action began. A group of black residents, spon- 
sored by the NAACP, filed suit in U.S. District Court to stop the 
police tactic, claiming it exceeded constitutional guarantees of per- 
sonal freedom. The ACLU began preparing a similar case for 

Finally the two newspapers took editorial stands. The Examiner 
trod softly. "The only lead police possess is a composite sketch 
based on descriptions supplied by surviving victims. This descrip- 
tion provides the basis upon which police are stopping all young 
black men who fit the general description. The process may prove 
ineffective. But it, plus saturation patrolling, is the only course 
open to the police." 

The Chronicle was more precise. "The Zebra murders have 
brought out the police on highly visible, and reassuring, patrols of 
the streets. The patrols are called 'extreme measures' by Mayor 
Alioto, who invoked them, and since their purpose is to involve po- 
lice in stopping and questioning black men who may resemble a Ze- 
bra suspect, the procedure has created a certain amount of restive- 
ness and complaint from black citizens and organizations. It is, 
however, hard to accept such complaints as justifiable. If the kill- 
ers are black, there would be no point in stopping white men for 
questioning. The discovery and taking into custody of the madmen 
is necessary for the peace of mind and the banishment of fear in 
the whole community. The police deserve every citizen's coopera- 

The city was paralyzed with fear, bewilderment, confusion. And 
again, the city's headlines were less than reassuring: 




Anthony did not talk to Debbie for two days and two nights. He 



did not speak a word about anything, did not even talk to the baby 
as he usually did. For the most part he spent his time lying on the 
bed, staring up at the ceiling. When a meal was ready, Debbie 
would tell him so and he would get up and eat. But even at the ta- 
ble, he did not speak; he merely stared down at his food as if in a 

Debbie tried a dozen times to talk to him, to get him to respond 
to something she would say. She tried talking to him at the table, 
lying next to him on the bed, calling to him from the next room, 
even tried talking to him through Anthony, Jr., by holding the baby 
next to him and pretending it was the baby who was talking. But 
nothing worked. Anthony did not even look at her. He continued to 
stare at nothing, his mouth hanging open an inch, jaw slack, shoul- 
ders slumped. He was so peculiar-looking that Debbie had a brief, 
awful thought that maybe his mind had snapped. But she refused to 
let herself believe it. 

In the evening, Debbie would bring the television into the bed- 
room and turn it on so that Anthony could see it. She lay beside 
him and watched it with him, making whatever comments she 
wanted to, whether he responded or not. He stared at the TV the 
same way he stared at her and the baby: with no recognition, no 
emotion, as if looking through it instead of at it. 

When the news came on, invariably with an update on the mas- 
sive Zebra manhunt being conducted across the bay, Debbie half 
expected to see some response from Anthony, a reaction of some 
kind. She knew that it had been the sketches in the newspapers that 
had plunged him into the morose condition he was in: that had been 
very obvious to her when he came back home without going to 
work, and dropped the paper on the couch. There was no question 
about the one sketch: it was Anthony. Not a perfect Anthony, by 
any means; but a close Anthony — enough to make it recognizable 
at least to himself and to her. 

Of course, it was some kind of mistake; it had to be. Anthony 
had been there in Oakland with her on the nights when those peo- 
ple were shot in San Francisco. So he could not have had anything 
to do with it. Not the ones that happened recently anyway. The 
ones that happened earlier, back before they left, well — 

Debbie had heard rumors now and again at the mosque: rumors 
about J. C. Simon and Larry Green and Manuel Moore and — yes, 


Clark Howard 

she had to admit it — even about Anthony. But they were not 
specific rumors; they were not rumors that actually said that some- 
one did this or someone did that; they were vague rumors of who 
might have done something, who was capable of doing something, 
who somebody wouldn't doubt was involved in something. Noth- 
ing definite, nothing certain, just speculation. Of course, Debbie 
halfway believed the rumors insofar as they involved J.C. and the 
others, because she did not like them. She had started out liking 
them, especially Manuel, but eventually she came to dislike all of 
them, every man who worked for Black Self Help. They were, to 
her straight mind, troublemakers, every one of them. She called 
the place where they worked Black Self Hurt, and she disliked An- 
thony being associated with it or them. That was why she had not 
hesitated to give up her job at the bank and make the unannounced 
move to Oakland as soon as Anthony suggested it. To get him away 
from what she considered a bad influence. And because she was 
pregnant too, of course, and did not particularly like remaining in 
the same area with the baby's real father. 

Secretly she had always dreaded the possibility that Anthony 
might have been in some trouble with J.C. and the others, and that 
he had been in such a hurry to leave San Francisco for that reason. 
She had never given much thought to what kind of trouble it was, 
and had never allowed herself to consider that it might be very bad 
trouble. But now, with Anthony acting the way he was, with 
the sketches in the paper that, to her, resembled both Anthony and 
Larry Green — again, not perfectly, but certainly closely 
enough — she was forced to consider the possibility that whatever it 
was that she did not know, it was worse — perhaps far worse — than 
she had imagined. 

On the morning of the third day that Anthony had not gone to 
work, Debbie was sitting alone on the couch, again looking at the 
reproduced sketches and the reward notice in the three-day-old pa- 
per. As she was sitting there, Anthony came out of the bedroom 
and sat beside her. She noticed at once that his expression was dif- 
ferent; he did not have the stupor look that had been on his face, in 
his eyes, for the past two days. He looked like the old Anthony 
now, her Anthony. She smiled her pleasure at seeing him, and he 
reached out and patted her hand. Then he bobbed his chin at the 
paper she held. 



"Thirty thousand dollars a lot of money," he said. 
Debbie nodded but did not trust herself to speak. 
"How long you figure you and Anthony, Jr., could live on thirty 
thousand dollars?" he asked. 
And with those words, she knew. 

By the weekend, more than five hundred young black men had 
been stopped and searched by the Zebra units partolling the streets 
of San Francisco at night. The operation had turned up no leads to 
the Zebra killers — but it had reduced major crimes in the city by 
nearly a third. Major crimes — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated 
assault, burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, and auto theft — had 
been cut back 30.7 percent. Because of saturation by police officers 
in the large areas considered primary Zebra operation sectors, 
which comprised some five hundred city blocks, many crimes 
which might have been committed, were not. 

Despite the drop in the general crime index, however, the stop- 
and-search operation was continuing to generate criticism and pro- 
tests throughout the city. The NAACP suit filed in federal court 
was calendared to the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Alfonso J. 
Zirpoli and set for Tuesday following the weekend. In other quar- 
ters, Dr. Carlton Goodlett, publisher of the small Sun Reporter 
newspaper, said that Mayor Alio to had begun a "drive against the 
black people of the community." The San Francisco Young Demo- 
crats called the police actions a "deliberate and desperate attempt 
by Alioto and Chief Scott to toy with public fear." Jesse Byrd, a 
black police officer who was also president of the predominantly 
black, eighty-member Officers for Justice organization, said that 
his group did not "approve of the gestapo-like tactics being used. 
We can only view this as another type of harassment." And Don- 
ald DeFreeze, the escaped convict who called himself Field Mar- 
shal Cinque of the underground Symbionese Liberation Army, 
sent a taped message to the news media in which he said that Oper- 
ation Zebra was the white man's "means to remove as many black 
males from the community as possible." He predicted "block by 
block and house by house searches" that would result in the confis- 
cation of all personal weapons. 

Mayor Alioto himself was involved in one protest when a group 
calling itself the Coalition to Stop Operation Zebra held a demon- 


Clark Howard 

stration in front of city hall. The group, estimated at one thousand 
persons, gathered shortly after 5:00 p.m. carrying picket signs 
which read, "Stop Alioto Storm Troopers" and "Smash Racism — 
The Rich Man's Tool, To Divide and Rule." As the crowd 
marched, it chanted, "The people say! This ain't the way!" 

About thirty minutes after the demonstration started, Alioto and 
two of his aides emerged from the building and came down the 
steps, on their way to the mayor's limousine parked at the curb. 
The three men began easing their way through the crowd. One 
picket blocked the mayor's way and thrust a leaflet at him. Alioto 
accepted it with a smile. Then, as he continued toward his car, oth- 
er pickets began spitting on him. One began hitting him over the 
head with a picket sign. His aides pushed the people aside and got 
Alioto into the car. Before the chauffeur could drive it away, the 
car was pounded on all sides and rocked back and forth on its 

After Alioto successfully escaped, the demonstrators took over 
the steps of city hall and for the next hour heard speeches from 
young black men who told how they had been stopped and 
searched during Operation Zebra. A black nurse, Monique Von 
Clutz, then made a speech comparing the Zebra Check Cards being 
issued by police to similar black identification cards used in what 
she called "the racist Union of South Africa." Ms. Von Clutz said 
that she had a brother who was killed in Vietnam and another who 
was paralyzed. "They fought for this country," she said, "and 
now the police are going around harassing black men and giving out 
cards." A spokesman for a group called the Revolutionary Union 
then exhorted the crowd to help "build a mass movement to give 
the country back to the working classes." 

Elsewhere there was support for Operation Zebra. California at- 
torney general, Evelle J. Younger, said that, in his opinion, San 
Francisco police had "all the authority they need to stop a suspect 
who looks like the subject in the sketches." Younger, who was the 
man for whom Dick Walley of CII worked in Sacramento, was well 
aware of the statewide wave of black/white killings over the past 
several years. He agreed with Alioto that extraordinary crime 
called for extraordinary police action. 

Instead of the demonstrations and protests influencing San Fran- 



cisco officials in any way, they kept their minds directly attuned to 
their immediate goal: stop the killings. Far from considering any 
halt to Operation Zebra, they were already in the planning stages of 
expanding it. Chief of Inspectors Barca had drawn up a proposal to 
begin using reserve police officers to increase the strength and pa- 
trol capability of the regular force. The reserves, comprised of 150 
backup officers, were normally used for crowd control at sporting 
events, parades, political rallies, motorcades, and the like, but Bar- 
ca saw no reason why they could not also serve as "extra eyes" in 
Operation Zebra. The plan was sent to Mayor Alioto's office for 
immediate perusal. 

In the meantime, the city had become a cripple. North Beach, 
the city's traditional nightlife district, was experiencing terrible 
business. Even though its main thoroughfare, Broadway, was one 
of the best patrolled areas in the city, "people," to quote one busi- 
nessman, "were staying away in droves." Had it not been for Jap- 
anese tourists, who either did not know about the killings or felt 
safe anyway because they were Oriental, many North Beach clubs 
would have closed their doors entirely. The Condor, a club made 
famous by Carol Doda and her fantastic silicone-injected breasts, 
had once counted on their eleven o'clock and midnight shows as 
the heaviest of the evening. Now their early shows were packed, 
and after nine or ten o'clock the club was all but deserted. One 
club, trying to hype business, hired an eigh teen-piece band and ad- 
vertised an evening of ballroom dancing. Exactly ten customers 
showed up. Only a few of the clubs and better restaurants — 
primarily those with valet parking — did any kind of business at all. 

San Francisco theater business was also off, its attendance down 
drastically. Even New York shows that had received rave reviews 
were playing to sparse audiences. One theater that frequently did a 
large business with out-of-town student groups reported that large 
blocks of such seats were being canceled because parents refused 
to have their children in San Francisco after dark. 

Inexplicably, daytime business had also fallen off. Small neigh- 
borhood shopping centers in the middle- and lower-middle-class 
districts suffered a definite drop in customer flow. Even in the afflu- 
ent sections of the city — those removed from any Zebra activity — 
shopping-area parking lots were less than half -filled. Supermarkets 


Clark Howard 

even reported a drop in business as customers just shopped quickly 
for essentials and hurried home. It was as if San Franciscans were 
so sick of it all that they wanted only to stay indoors in the safety 
of their homes until the madness ended. They fervently hoped that 
Operation Zebra would soon put an end to it all. 

Then the unexpected happened. 

U.S. District Court Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli, acting on the suit 
filed by the NAACP-sponsored plaintiffs, ruled that the actions of 
the San Francisco Police Department in its stop-and-search opera- 
tion were unconstitutional, and formally ordered a halt to the oper- 
ation. The order handed down by the court expressly forbade the 
police from stopping and searching young black males simply be- 
cause they resembled the sketches purported to be likenesses of 
the killers. In the future, the court said, officers would have to have 
independent information creating a reasonable suspicion that who- 
ever they stopped had committed a crime or was in the process of 
committing one. 

Just days after the shooting of Ward Anderson and Terry White, 
and tfhe murder of Nick Shields, Operation Zebra was suspended. 

Coreris sat glumly at his desk in the corner of Homicide and 
lighted a cigarette. He tossed the match at his ashtray. It missed 
and hit the desk. Coreris did not even bother to pick it up. 

At the desk facing his, Fotinos first glanced around to be sure no 
one could overhear them, then lowered his voice to a confidential 
tone. "Cheer up, for Christ's sake, will you? It was a damn good 
idea, whether it worked or not." 

Coreris shook his head. "All it did was make a lot of good cops 
work their asses off for a week. It got us nothing." 

"Bullshit. It got the major crime rate down thirty percent all 
week. That in itself was worth it. Besides, who knows what might 
yet come of it?" 

"Sure, sure," Coreris said. His expression of disenchantment 
remained fixed. 

At another desk, the phone rang. Jeff Brosch, one of the young 
Robbery officers that Coreris and Fotinos had picked for the Zebra 
squad, answered it. He listened and conversed for a minute, then 
looked around at Coreris. "Hey, Gus, there's a guy on the phone 



says he's got some information on the Zebra killers. Wants some- 
body to come over to Oakland to talk to him." 

Coreris grunted softly. Give me a quarter for every phony tip 
we've had on this goddamned case and I could retire early, he 

"Let's you and I handle it," Fotinos said. "A drive across the 
bridge might do you good." 

Coreris shook his head. "No, I don't feel like it." He bobbed his 
chin at Brosch. "You and Carl take it." 

Brosch nodded and resumed talking. 

At five thirty that afternoon, Brosch and Klotz arrived at a pre- 
designated meeting place to interview the man who had called. The 
meeting place was at a bank parking lot in Oakland. The man, 
wearing wraparound sunglasses despite the fact that it was getting 
dark, was Anthony Harris. He was leaning against the side of the 
building waiting for them. 

Brosch and Klotz were cautious. They did not know who they 
were dealing with, and both realized that the meeting place was an 
excellent location for an ambush. Separating, their coats unbut- 
toned for quick access to their guns, they approached Harris. 

"You the gentleman who called?" asked Klotz. 

"Yeah, that's me," Anthony said. 

The officers looked around apprehensively. "You mind if we pat 
you down?" Brosch asked. "Just so we know we can trust you." 

"Whatever," said Anthony. 

Brosch gave him a quick pat search and found no weapon. 

"Want to take a ride?" Klotz asked him. "Beats standing out 
here where everybody can see us." 

"Yeah, okay." 

They got into the unmarked car and drove to a nearby supermar- 
ket parking lot. "Okay, Mr. Harris," Brosch said when they had 
parked. "What do you want to tell us?" 

"First off, I got to be promised that my name won't be give to 
the papers or nothing like that," Anthony said. "And second, I 
want the reward for my old lady and kid." 

"Sounds reasonable to us, Mr. Harris," said Klotz. "Providing 
you have good information for us." 


Clark Howard 

"It's good information, all right," said Anthony. "I know all 
about the killings from the very beginning. In fact, they tried to 
make me a part of them." 

"Who's 'they'?" Brosch asked. 

"The Death Angels," said Anthony. "They be the ones who did 
all the killings. They killed them all, even chopped up that woman 
by the railroad tracks, everybody. They say all whites is blue-eyed 
devils. They wanted me to be part of it, but I skipped out on them. 
I don't go for killing women and kids and stuff like that." 

Klotz and Brosch exchanged quick glances. "What kids are you 
talking about?" Flotz asked as calmly as possible. 

"Three kids they tried to grab the night they hacked the wom- 
an," Anthony said. 

Jackpot! thought Carl Klotz. He looked at Brosch and saw that 
his partner was thinking the same thing. This was it, this was real. 
The instant Anthony mentioned the three kids, they both realized 

Because only the police knew about those three kids. 

Only the police knew about the attempted abduction of Michele 
Carrasco and Frank and Marie Stewart two hours before Quita 
Hague was hacked to death. Only the police knew that a connec- 
tion had already been made between the three men and the van de- 
scribed by the youngsters, and the man and van described by Rich- 
ard Hague. Only the police. 

And someone who had been there. 

Anthony Harris agreed to accompany Brosch and Klotz back 
over to San Francisco. Within the hour Anthony was sitting in an 
interrogation room, facing Coreris and Fotinos. Klotz and Brosch 
were standing in the background. Coreris led the questioning, start- 
ing off slowly, easily. A tape recorder was turned on. 

"Mr. Harris, it is my understanding that you have information 
relative to the particular crimes that have been occurring in San 
Francisco and are known as the Zebra slayings. Is that correct?" 

"Right," said Anthony. 

"And your main interest in giving us that information is the large 
reward that has been offered. Is that correct?" 

"Yes. Exactly. And to stop the killing too." 



"Yes. And I'm told you want protection for your wife and baby 


"All right, I think I can safely say that if you have information 
which results in putting a stop to these killings, that the reward will 
be yours. And I can guarantee the safety of your wife and baby. 
Now then, do you have information relative to the series of Zebra 

"Yes, I have." 

"This information is based on personal knowledge?" 


"All right then, why don't you just relate it to us in your own 

"Okay," said Anthony. "But first of all, I don't want my name 
mentioned at all. To the newspapers or anything." 

"At this point, we guarantee you complete anonymity," Coreris 
said. He would have promised him the chief of police's job in order 
to start him talking. "Now what basics do you know of the Zebra 

"Well, number one, I know the people who are involved in it. 
The main one is J.C." 

"J.C. who?" 

"J. C. Simon. He call hisself J.C.X. Simon." 

Coreris glanced over at Fotinos. "Run a check on that name," 
he said in Greek. 

"Right away," Fotinos replied, also in Greek. He rose and left 
the room. 

"What's that you talking?" Anthony asked. "Chinese?" 

"Yeah, Chinese," Coreris replied. "When did you first have 
contact with Mr. J. C. Simon?" 

"I'd say about seven or eight months ago." 

"How did you meet him?" 

"At Black Self Help." 

"By Black Self Help, you mean the movers on Market Street?" 


"Was he employed there?" 

"Yes. Assistant manager." 

"And he is directly involved in the Zebra killings?" 


Clark Howard 

"Right. He be drive around sometimes and make a list of the 
places he want to do. To sting. To hit, you know. He drove me 
around one time and pointed out a market downtown. He say it be 
number one on his list." 

Tiny fingers seemed to tickle the back of Coreris's neck. A 
downtown market, he thought. Saleem Erakat. "Do you remember 
the name of the premises?" 

"No. It was a real small building. I didn't pay too much attention 
to it. I didn't know what he was talking about. Then he went back 
another time and he made a sting." 

"He made a sting there?" 




"What type of vehicle was he driving on that particular day, An- 

"A van." 

The tiny fingers worked on Coreris's neck again. A van. The 
three kids. The Hagues. "Do you know what type of van?" 

"It was a light, cream-colored van, more or less." 

Fotinos came back in. "No criminal record," he said in Greek. 
"But I got a photocopy of his driver's license." 

Coreris took the photocopy and held it up for Anthony to see. "I 
show you a California driver's license, number N-for-Nora, 
402^64. It's issued to J. C. Simon, date of birth 5-8-46. Is this the 
J. C. Simon you are talking about?" 

"Right," said Anthony, "that's him." 

Coreris took back the photocopy. "All right, who else was in- 
volved that you personally know of?" 

"Larry," said Anthony. "Larry Craig Green." 

Without a word, Fotinos again left the room. Coreris asked An- 
thony a few more questions about the van while he waited for his 
partner to run the second name through the computer. After sever- 
al minutes, Fotinos returned with another driver's license photo- 

"Same deal," Fotinos said, still speaking Greek. "No rap sheet 
at all." 

Coreris showed Anthony the second photocopy. "This is a copy 



of California driver's license number A-for-Adam, 15037, issued to 
Larry Craig Green, date of birth 2-12-52. Is this the Larry Green 
you are talking about?" 

"Yes, this is him. That picture is Larry to a T." 

"Are Larry Green and J. C. Simon affiliated in any way?" 

Anthony was not sure what "affiliated" meant, but he under- 
stood the question enough to answer it. "Ah, they both live in the 
same apartment house and work at the same place." 

"What are Mr. Green's duties at Black Self Help?" 

"He's a mover." 

"Do you know what type of auto he owns?" 

"I believe a Dodge Dart, I think it was." 

"What color is it?" 


"Okay. Now tell me, what incidents do you personally know of 
that Larry Green was involved in?" 

"Larry, he the one that chopped that woman by the tracks." 

"By tracks, you mean railroad tracks?" 


Coreris turned to Carl Klotz. "Get me the photograph file." 

Klotz left the interrogation room and returned a moment later 
with a large manila file folder. Coreris fingered through a number of 
glossy photographs while Klotz held the file. Finally he pulled one 
out. It was an eight-by-ten of Quita Hague as she had been found 
on the night of her murder. Coreris showed it to Anthony. 

Anthony's eyes got very wide. "Oh, my God! This the girl 

"That's the girl, that's the woman," said Klotz. His expression 
was dark. He snatched another photo from the file and held it close 
to Anthony's face. "Here's when she was cleaned up and she was 
put in the morgue . " 

Anthony swallowed dryly. He stared fearfully at Klotz. 

"This is what they were gonna do to those kids," Klotz said. 
"Three helpless little kids, this is what they were gonna do. And 
when that thing fell apart, an hour later this happened." 

Coreris leaned forward on the table and cut back in before An- 
thony became too frightened. "Anthony, tell us who else you per- 
sonally know to be involved." 


Clark Howard 

Anthony tore his eyes away from big, angry Klotz. He wet his 
lips. "Let's see, there's Larry, and J.C., and — what's his name? — 
oh, yeah, Manuel. Manuel Moore." He pronounced Manuel's last 
name as "Moe." "He done time with me in San Quentin," he add- 

Moore's name was run through the computer. His long and var- 
ied criminal record printed out on the Homicide terminal. Coreris 
showed it to Anthony. 

"This is a criminal record of Manuel Leonard Moore," he said 
for benefit of the tape recorder. "California State Prison number 
B-for-Boy, 21009, date of birth 9-2-44. Can you identify him as the 
man you're talking about?" 

"Yeah, that's Manuel." 

"Based on your own personal knowledge, what Zebra crimes do 
you know of that Manuel Moore has been involved in?" 

"Manuel, he done that woman in the laundry place." 

Jane Holly, Coreris thought. In the Laundromat. He sighed qui- 
etly. The Hagues, Erakat, Holly. Four down, nineteen to go. He 
loosened his tie. It was going to be a long night. 

For the rest of the night, Anthony Harris named names, made 
identifications, described killings. In addition to J. C. Simon, Larry 
Green, and Manuel Moore, he implicated in the Zebra killings and 
as being members of the Death Angels, Jesse Lee Cooks and four 
other men with whom he claimed to have attended loft meetings, 
and who were allegedly present on the night he was required to dis- 
pose of John Doe No. 169. 

After identifying by name the men whom he knew in the loft that 
night, Anthony told of taking the body away. Carl Klotz ques- 
tioned him on that. 

"Whereabouts at the beach did you dump it?" 

"I don't know," Anthony said. "I don't know much about the 
beach, you know. I think it was alongside the road there, more or 

"Is that where you threw it?" 

"I pushed it off. Pushed if off there." 

"As you were driving, or did you stop and carry it?" 

"No, carried it. Carried it, right." 

"How far did you carry it from the truck?" 



"About thirty or forty feet at the most." 

"Can you show us where you dumped it?" 

"I guess. It was nighttime. I never been on that beach down 

"Who did the butchering?" 

"I don't know. I don't know if Larry did the butchering or not in 
there. There was blood dripping out of it, you know?" 

"You saw this?" Klotz asked. 

"Right. I saw the blood, right. I picked it up and set it up there in 
the van and it got on my hands." 

"When you dumped that package, did it smell bad?" 

Anthony nodded. "Bad, ah — bad smell." 

For a while the four police officers let Anthony talk extempo- 
raneously about anything he wanted to, while they made mental 
notes of what he was saying. When he seemed to be winding down, 
one of them would toss a leading question at him and he would be- 
gin talking again. At various times he rambled on about the Mus- 
lims in general; the Fruit of Islam "military police"; the teaching 
of hatred for whites; the way the "officials" who conducted meet- 
ings would look for hostility in a person's face after preaching 
about how the whites cut open black mothers' stomachs; the pic- 
tures of men who had earned their Death Angel wings and had 
them drawn on each side of the neck in their photographs that were 
kept in the loft — 

The loft, Harris said, was upstairs over the main floor of Black 
Self Help Moving and Storage. It was there — and in the apartment 
of J. C. Simon — that some of the stings had been planned. Fotinos 
questioned him about the loft. 

"How many people can meet at the Black Self Help loft?" 

"Twenty-five or thirty. If it was cleared out, it could hold 
more — about fifty." 

"How often are these meetings held?" 

"That's up to — nobody knows. You see, one day somebody will 
say there's a meeting there tonight at Black Self Help. Be there, 
you know. And they'll give you a small card — you know, num- 
ber — to lick and press hard in your hand. Sometimes it stays in 
your hand for a while, but if you take soap and water, it comes 
right off." 

"And you're admitted with this particular thing?" 


Clark Howard 

"Right. It has to be identified with the number they have." 

"When you go in, is everybody searched?" 

"No. No one searches no one." 

From time to time during the casual conversation part of the in- 
terrogation, one of the officers would drop in a quick question of 
some import, to which they would invariably receive a very valu- 
able answer. Such as: 

"Are you familiar with any weapons in the possession of Mr. Si- 

"I remember seeing a thirty-two automatic." 

Or: "To make the grade in the Death Angels, what does that con- 
sist of?" 

"Well, you have to kill nine people — to take the heads of the 
enemy — nine heads." 

"By taking the heads, does that mean decapitation?" 

"Decapitation or just killing." 

Or: "Do you know what other kind of transportation these men 
used, Anthony?" 

"A black Cadillac." 

"Who owns this black Cadillac?" 

"The manager down at Black Self Help." 

As the hours passed, Anthony began to get anxious about Deb- 
bie and the baby. He expressed his concern to Coreris. The detec- 
tive nodded his understanding. 

"We're concerned about them too, Anthony," he said. "We'd 
like to bring them over here and keep you all in protective custody 
for the time being. Is that agreeable with you?" 

"Yeah, if that's what's best." 

"Good. Now, I'm going to have the same two officers take you 
back across the bay to pick up Mrs. Harris and your baby, then 
they'll bring you back here and we'll have a place for you to stay." 

"Not jail?" 

"No, of course not. You're on our side now, Anthony." 

Brosch and Klotz took Anthony and left. When they were gone, 
Coreris and Fotinos talked about the confession. 

"Notice how everyone's a killer except him?" Fotinos said. 


"How much do you think he hasn't told us?" 



Coreris grunted. "A hell of a lot. Some things he'll probably nev- 
er tell us. But one thing's for certain: he'll tell us enough to put a 
stop to Zebra. And that's all I want right now." 

"Amen," said Fotinos. 

Anthony, Debbie, and Anthony, Jr., were lodged in a Holiday 
Inn near the Hall of Justice. Debbie was extremely nervous about 
the whole thing, but Anthony managed to keep her reasonably un- 
der control. She knew that what he was doing was for the best, but 
the presence of so many white policemen infused so suddenly into 
their lives was unnerving to her. 

"You take the baby and go on into the other part of the room," 
Anthony told her the following morning when the interrogation 
was to resume. He was referring to a dressing and bath area that 
could be closed off from the main room. "That way you won't be 
hearing nothing that you don't need to know." 

Debbie did as he asked. When she was gone, Coreris and Fotinos 
asked Anthony to tell them about Jesse Lee Cooks and the night of 
the Quita Hague killing, which by now had been connected with 
the Zebra attacks. 

"I knew him in the prison house," Anthony said of Cooks. 
"How cold he was. He used to talk about killing all the time, you 
know. He was somebody who would go out and kill for the fun of 
it. Talk about going into an orphanage, you know what I mean? Go- 
ing into a hospital, you know what I mean? This kind of off-the- 
wall stuff, demolishing everybody and this kind of stuff." 

And later, when they were in the van with Larry Green, Jesse 
was "talking to Larry and telling him what it was like in San Quen- 
tin, and Jesse, he said something about he's glad he's out, you 
know, and he can pay his respects to, you know, his enemies." 

Later still, when they were attempting to kidnap the three chil- 
dren off the street: "I know from looking at Jesse's eyes, you 
know, he had like, like hurt in his eyes, blood, murder, in his eyes, 
you know . . . and the way he was holding that girl's head, you 
know, around the mouth here, you know, holding it tight. ..." 

At first, Anthony referred to the killings and other incidents as 
being done by "them" — never with himself as a participant. It was 
always "they" did this, "they" did that. He claimed "personal 


Clark Howard 

knowledge" of what had happened, but would not admit actually 
being present, except at the attempted kidnapping, where no killing 
had taken place. Coreris talked to him about it. 

"Anthony, if you're involved in any way in these shootings, and 
you're afraid to talk, you're afraid you might be put up on charges 
for these crimes, I want you to know that you won't be. We'll offer 
you immunity so that you won't even be indicted or tried. But you 
have to understand that we need corroboration in this case. What I 
mean is, we have to back up what you're saying, we have to prove 
it. Otherwise, all this is just conversation." 

Anthony was still reluctant to admit more than just "personal 
knowledge" — and he would not even explain what he meant by 
that. So Coreris decided to let him continue on that basis, for the 
time being anyway. At least, he thought, we'll be getting some 
facts — whether we can ever prove them or not. 

Anthony talked about Quit a Hague. "They told her to get out, 
you know, and when she was getting out, they pushed her right on 
out. They had a real long skinny knife. They took the knife and 
walked over to the woman. Told her to shut up, you know, just put 
her head down there. And the woman screamed — " 

Coreris and Fotinos exchanged glances. Only a person who had 
been there could tell the story that way — in spite of all the "theys" 
and "thems." So the detectives let him keep talking. At one point 
he told them about a grisly find he made one day at Black Self 
Help. "One day I forgot to clean the back up, and I smelled some- 
thing that smelled a little strange, you know . . . the kind I 
smelled before in the penitentiary when a man got stabbed and it 
smelled like blood . . . blood . . . they told me to help get these 
packages on this truck . . . there were quite a few there ... so 
I picked a package up, I set the package down in the truck, you 
know, and there was blood on my hand, and I asked what is this 
right here, and he said that's probably some old dog or cat cut up, 
you know, and don't worry about it. There were two or three dif- 
ferent packages like that. ..." 

So John Doe No. 169 wasn't the only white devil butchered at 
Black Self Help, Coreris thought. 

Anthony talked about J. C. Simon. ". . . one time Larry told 
me, 'Don't bother him. He's very upset. He said something about, 
he just didn't have a high enough score, you know, to become a 



lieutenant . . . and he went to Chicago . . . said he had to kill a 
certain amount of people.' He had some pictures of him killing 
people ... I seen some of them upstairs . . . and they showed 
me some pictures of a body hacked up . . . and told me I could 
lose all the fear in me because I could do the same to people." 

Little by little as Anthony talked, all of the attacks were tied in 
with one or another of the four men that he had been closest to: 
Cooks, Green, Simon, Moore. Their names and participation were 
linked with everyone on the long list of victims, and soon the 
pieces of Anthony's story fell so neatly into place that he could no 
longer reasonably deny his own implication. It was clear that he 
had been present at the Hague, Erakat, Dancik, Roselli, Smith, 
Wollin, Bambic, Holly, and McMillian incidents. Nine incidents in- 
volving ten of the Zebra victims — yet Anthony steadfastly claimed 
he himself had never killed. 

Coreris and Fotinos talked about it out in the hall. "If we use 
him to get the others," Fotinos said, "we'll have to let him off the 
hook anyway. So in the long run it won't matter whether he killed 
anyone or not." 

"That's a hell of a way to have to look at it," Coreris said. "But 
we don't have much choice, do we?" 

Fotinos shrugged. "Like you said before, the main thing is to 
stop the killings. Get the rest of those animals put away." 

"We're going to have to find a way to get him to admit being at 
the scenes first," Coreris said. "I think we'd better encourage him 
to get a lawyer. That way he'll know that he's got someone who 
can deal for him on the immunity thing." 

The detectives returned to the room and explained to Anthony 
the desirability of his having an attorney to protect his interests. 
Anthony did not know any attorneys, and Fotinos and Coreris 
were in no position to recommend one. It was finally decided to let 
Anthony select one at random. Fotinos opened the Yellow Pages to 
"Attorney s-at-Law" and Anthony reached down and put his finger 
on a name. The attorney was Laurence Kauffman. Anthony called 
him and the situation was explained to him. An appointment was 
made for Kauffman to come to Homicide the following morning, 
and from there Coreris and Fotinos would take him to meet his cli- 


Clark Howard 

At eleven o'clock the next morning, while Coreris and Fotinos 
were talking with Larry Kauff man, a Black Muslim named Jim 6X 
Peters* walked up to the desk at the Holiday Inn. 

"Do you have Mr. Anthony Harris registered?" he inquired. 

The clerk checked his guest list. "Yes, sir. Would you like to 
speak to him?" 

"Just give me his room number; I'll go on up." 

"I'm sorry, sir. We have to announce you. Hotel rules." 

Peters smiled. "I see. In that case, ring him on the house phone 
for me. I'll announce myself." 

Peters went to a house phone and the clerk rang Anthony's 
room. Anthony answered. 

"Anthony Harris?" the caller said. "This is Jim 6X from the 
mosque. I have a message for you from the minister." 

"What is it?" Anthony asked. It did not surprise him that the 
man was there. 

"I'd rather not give it to you over the phone," Jim 6X said. 
"What's your room number? I'll come up." 

"You can't come up," Anthony said. "My wife's still sleeping." 

"Your wife? Oh, you mean Deborah. She can't be still sleeping; 
she just spoke to Sister Sarah on the phone a little while ago." 

Anthony already knew that. He had caught Debbie on the phone 
when he came out of the shower. "You can't come up," he repeat- 

"Why don't you come down to the lobby then?" 

Anthony, his stomach quivering with fear, hung up. 

Peters crossed to a pay phone and made a brief, urgent call. Just 
as he was hanging up, Coreris, Fotinos, and Larry Kauffman en- 
tered the lobby. Coreris had never seen Peters before, but was in- 
stantly suspicious of him. "I think we got some problems," he said 
to Fotinos. "Get upstairs and check on Anthony. Mr. Kauffman, 
you go with him, please." 

After his partner and the attorney got on the elevator, Coreris 
walked up to Peters and showed his badge. "I'm Inspector Gus 
Coreris of the San Francisco Police Department. May I see some 
identification, please?" 

♦Since this person committed no actual crime, his name has been changed for the 
purpose of this narrative. 



"Have I done anything, Inspector?" Peters asked with a smile. 

"Not to my knowledge," said Coreris. "But the law states that 
all citizens must carry identification, and must show it when asked 
to do so by a police officer. May I see yours, please?" 

Peters presented his driver's license. Coreris took out his note- 
book and copied down the information on it. 

"May I ask what you're doing in this motel lobby, Mr. Peters?" 

"Meeting friends," Peters answered. He took back the license 
Coreris handed him. "If you have no objection, Inspector, I'll wait 
for them out on the sidewalk." 

Peters waited a moment, and when Coreris did not object, he 
walked out of the lobby. Coreris could see him standing at the 
curb, looking up the street. The detective picked up the house 
phone and called Anthony's room. Fotinos answered. 

"Is Harris okay?" Coreris asked. 

"Yeah, but I think our cover is blown," Fotinos said. "Debbie 
got nervous this morning and decided she needed to talk to a wom- 
an. While Anthony was in the shower, she called Sister Sarah, the 
wife of one of the Muslim ministers." 

"Oh, Christ! Let me guess," said Coreris. "She told Sister Sar- 
ah where they were, right?" 

"You got it," said Fotinos. 

Coreris glanced out the lobby door again — just in time to see a 
black Cadillac pull up and four neatly dressed young black men get 
out and crowd around Jim 6X Peters. 

"John, we got trouble down here," Coreris said. "Muslims com- 
ing out of the woodwork. I think you'd better get Anthony and his 
family out of here on the double. Get them over to the Hall. And 
don't come through the lobby. I'll do what I can down here." 

Coreris hung up as the five Muslims entered the lobby. Three of 
them went directly to the elevator; Peters and the other one stood 
between it and Coreris. 

"One moment, please, gentlemen," Coreris said, taking his 
badge out again. "I'm a police officer and I'd like to see some iden- 
tification from each of you, please." 

Peters shook his head. "Not just now, Inspector." 

Coreris glanced up at the elevator indicator. The elevator was 
stopped on Anthony's floor. "Are you refusing to identify your- 
selves?" Coreris asked sternly. 


Clark Howard 

"That is exactly what we are doing," Peters replied. He jerked 
his head at the three Muslims waiting for the elevator. "Take the 
stairs," he ordered. 

Coreris saw the elevator indicator moving toward the upper-lev- 
el parking area. He shrugged and smiled at Peters. "Well, if you 
don't want to identify yourselves, I guess you don't have to. Good 
day, gentlemen." 

With a frowning, puzzled Peters following his every step, Corer- 
is walked out of the lobby. 

Outside, the detective hurried around the corner to the car in 
which he, Fotinos, and Larry Kauffman had driven over. Jumping 
behind the wheel, he lurched away from the curb and drove on 
screeching tires into the motel parking entrance. 

The three Muslims who had hurried up the stairs were searching 
the hallways, one man to a floor. Their expressions were grim, 

Coreris, on the spiral garage ramp, was careening around cor- 
ners and pillars as he jammed the car upward to the top parking 

When the Muslim on the second floor failed to find anything, he 
hurried up to the third floor. There he joined with the second man 
and they rushed up another floor. 

Coreris skidded to a halt on the top level. Fotinos, gun drawn, 
guided the Harrises and Larry Kauffman from a fire stairwell and 
they all piled into the car. Coreris shot the car forward and began a 
speeding trip back down. Seconds after the car was out of sight, 
the three Muslims burst onto the upper parking level. They heard 
the screech of Coreris 's tires and immediately began running down 
the spiraling ramp after the car. 

But it was too late. Coreris reached the street far ahead of them. 
Putting the flasher on the dashboard, he sped toward the Hall of 

Anthony, Debbie, and the baby were taken later that day to a 
room at the Stewart Hotel, near Union Square, where they had 
been preregistered under fictitious names. Three police details 
were assigned to guard them around the clock. 

When Coreris found a moment later that day to sit down at his 



desk, he saw a phone message from a black police officer on the pa- 
trol detail. Coreris returned the call. 

"I'd like to confer with you about something, Inspector," the 
black officer said. 

"Go ahead," Coreris told him. 

"Not over the phone. Are you going to be there for a while?" 


"I'll come right over." 

The officer arrived a few minutes later. Coreris took him into a 
private conference room. "What can I do for you?" he asked. 

"I want to ask if you know of someone named Anthony that the 
department might be holding incognito . " 

Coreris's spine tightened. Watch this guy! his instincts warned. 
"Why do you want to know?" he asked the black officer. 

"Some friends of mine asked me to find out." 

"Are your friends Muslims?" Coreris asked bluntly. 

The officer looked slightly surprised. "Yes, as a matter of fact. 
Can you tell me where this Anthony is?" 

"I can," Coreris said, "but I won't. I will, however, tell you 
four other things. One: Anthony has an attorney representing him. 
Two: I have interrogated Anthony and in my opinion he has invalu- 
able information which the department will protect at any risk. 
Three: I am going to formally report your inquiry to Chief Scott, 
Captain Barca, and the Intelligence Division. And four: If I were 
you, Officer, I wouldn't make any more inquiries about Anthony. 
You got all that?" 

"I've got it," the black policeman replied tightly. 

"Good. Anything else I can do for you?" 

"I think not." The black officer strode to the door and stalked 

The goddamned nerve! Coreris thought. He went back to his 
desk and told Fotinos about it. Fotinos shook his head. "What 
does he think we handle in this detail? Traffic warrants?" 

"He must." Coreris pointed a finger at Fotinos. "You know, 
this thing is going to go sour on us if we're not careful. If those ass- 
holes are desperate enough to come out in the open with a cop, no 
telling what they'll do next." 

"What worries me even more than that," Fotinos said, "is 


Clark Howard 

whether J. C. Simon and those other animals might go underground 
on us. If their buddies decide to hide them, we'll be up the creek as 
far as making a bust." 

"You're right." Coreris drummed his fingers on the desk top. "I 
think I'll call Larry Kauff man and tell him we've got to get a formal 
statement from Anthony that will hold up in court. No more 'they 
did it' bullshit; we've got to have something solid. I just hope An- 
thony won't back out on us. " 

"He won't," Fotinos said confidently. "We're all he's got now. 
He can't go back out on the streets. Debbie burned all his bridges 
when she called Sister Sarah." 

"That's right," Coreris said, immediately brightening. Picking 
up his phone, he called the Stewart Hotel and asked for the ficti- 
tious name under which Anthony was registered. Larry Kauffman 
answered. Coreris told him about the inquiry from the black police 
officer. "They want him real bad, Counselor," he emphasized to 
the attorney. "We've got to get him stashed somewhere perma- 
nently safe as quickly as we can. But we can't do it until he's for- 
mally gone on the record with something we can take to a grand 
jury. Until he admits personal participation, everything he's given 
us is just hearsay." 

"I've already talked to him about that," Kauffman said. "He 
wants to cooperate further, but he's scared. He's afraid that after 
he talks, he might still be charged with something. It's not that he 
doesn't trust you guys; he just feels that you might be overruled by 
higher-ups. You have to admit he has a point." 

"So what does he want?" Coreris asked. 

"He wants his promise of immunity to come straight from the 
horse's mouth. He wants to meet with Mayor Alioto. Can you set 
that up?" 

"If that's what he wants, we'll have to," said Coreris. "Let me 
get back to you." 

Coreris told Fotinos what they had to do. They both got on the 
phone to try to locate the mayor. Within minutes they learned that 
he was out of the city; he had flown to Los Angeles on business. 
The detectives then began trying to locate Inspector Edward Sar- 
raille, a police officer who was attached to the mayor's staff. After 
an hour, they finally contacted Sarraille. Coreris explained the ur- 



gency of the situation to him. Sarraille said he would try to locate 
Alioto in Los Angeles. 

It was then past ten o'clock at night. Coreris and Fotinos sat 
back to wait. 

In the downtown area, a black Continental moved methodically 
from one motel to another. At each stop, the routine was the same. 
A pleasant, well-groomed black man would go up to the desk and 
say, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to trouble you, but I'm trying to locate 
a cousin of mine who's staying with his family in one of the down- 
town motels. I'm a little embarrassed because I can't remember his 
last name; he's a distant cousin. But I wondered if you had a black 
man about thirty registered, with his wife and one infant — " 

While this man was making inquiry at the desk, three other 
blacks from the Continental were strolling about the outside of the 
premises, checking for signs of a police guard. 

The quartet had been searching since nightfall. They had started 
with the motels closest to the Hall of Justice and worked outward 
from there. One by one, they checked off every motel within a rea- 
sonable distance. They did not find the "cousin." 

"The hotels," one of them finally said. "He may be in a regular 
hotel instead of a motel." 

Midway through the evening, they started checking the ho- 

At midnight, Coreris received a call from Mayor Alioto in Los 

"What does it look like, Inspector?" the mayor asked. 

"It looks good, sir," Coreris replied. "There's no doubt that the 
man has solid information." 

"And he definitely wants to talk to me? The district attorney 
won't do?" 

"He specifically asked for you, sir. He's afraid a guarantee of 
immunity from anybody else might not stick." 

"Of course, you know I can't guarantee him immunity. All I can 
do is promise that we'll go to bat for him if he'll help us." 

"I know that, sir. I think that'll be enough for him. He's painted 
himself in a corner. ' ' 


Clark Howard 

"All right. I'll have to see what I can do in the way of a flight 
back up there. Stay at your phone; I'll get back to you." 


Alioto called back ten minutes later. 

"All right, Inspector, I got on a TWA flight that will get me back 
to the city at three a.m. Have my driver and a red-light escort meet 
the plane. Then have your witness in my office at three thirty." 


In his office, a weary but optimistic Joseph Alioto met with An- 
thony Harris and Debbie Turner. Alioto would have liked to prom- 
ise Anthony the moon if he wanted it, but he was determined to be 
scrupulously fair with the witness. 

"Mr. Harris," he began, "I think that I ought to say right now, 
so there will be no question about it, that this is a constitutional 
matter, that you do have to understand that whatever involvement 
you have had, and whatever information you give with respect to 
that involvement, could be used against you in court. 

"On the other hand, Mr. Harris, we are interested in solving this 
thing, and I, as the mayor of this city, would go to a judge and give 
him every assurance that you have come into this thing voluntarily, 
and helped us to secure certain evidence, and that you have coop- 
erated. Whatever the law permits to be done in such cases, I will 
urge be done all the way down the line for you. So this is what 
we're talking about. If you feel under those circumstances, and 
with my assurance as I've just given it to you here, that you could 
be helpful to us — under those circumstances, if you want to tell us 
what you know about these killings on the streets of San Francis- 
co, I promise that we will fulfill what I've talked to you about, and I 
will see to it that your wife gets the reward. 

"Now then, your lawyers are here" — Alioto looked over at Lar- 
ry Kauffman, who now had with him an associate attorney, Irving 
Hurd — "very capable lawyers, and they have heard, both of them 
have heard, what I have said about this whole thing." 

"I'd like to read Anthony the Miranda Warning," Coreris said, 
"just for the record. Anthony, you have the right to remain silent. 
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of 
law. You have the right to talk to a lawyer, and have him present 



with you while you are being questioned. If you cannot afford to 
hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any 
questioning, if you wish one. Do you understand each of these 
rights I have explained to you, Anthony?" 

"Yes, sir," Anthony said. 

"Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to the mayor 
and us at this time?" 

"That's for sure," said Anthony. 

And with that statement, Anthony Cornelius Harris began his 
formal confession to the Zebra crimes. 


The Arrests 

The arrest posse assembled at four o'clock in the morning on 
Wednesday, May 1, 1974. 

There were more than one hundred officers. They were assigned 
to apprehend seven men who had been named by Anthony Harris 
as members of the Death Angels and participants in the Zebra kill- 
ings. Besides J. C. Simon, Manuel Moore, and Larry Green, Harris 
had named Jesse Lee Cooks and four others. Cooks was already in 
Folsom Prison. The four others, like Simon, Moore, and Green, 
were to be taken into custody. 

Forty officers were assigned to an apartment building at 844 
Grove Street, where both Simon and Green lived: Simon in apart- 
ment two, Green in apartment seven. Five men, plus Coreris, 
Fotinos, and other homicide inspectors, were to assault Simon's 
apartment; another five, plus Dick Walley of CII and several more 
homicide inspectors, were assigned to take Green's apartment. 
The building itself was surrounded by ten additional men. The 800 
block of Grove was sealed off by another twenty men. 

A twenty-man team was also surrounding the premises of Black 
Self Help Moving and Storage, where two of the other suspects 
were known to be; and a second five-man team, along with a parole 
officer, was set to apprehend Manuel Moore at an apartment he had 



recently rented at 339 Fillmore, about four blocks from the Grove 
Street operation. The remaining two suspects were also under sur- 
veillance by sizable assault teams. 

Coreris, Fotinos, and Dick Walley were sipping coffee from Sty- 
rofoam cups, standing on a dark street corner at the assembly point 
for the Grove Street assault team. 

"It's been a long chase," said Walley. "Think they'll resist us?" 

Fotinos shook his head. "They won't have a chance. Anyway, 
they're cowards, the whole goddamned bunch of them. Cowards 
don't resist." 

"John's got this doctor friend who's guaranteed us a peaceful 
surrender," Coreris said. 

"I hope he's right," said Walley. "Not that I'd mind blowing 
away these scum bags, but I keep thinking we might get lucky and 
catch one who'll blow the whistle on the whole gang — statewide." 

"You're dreaming, Dick," said Coreris. "I don't think any one 
guy would know all that. Not even the main guy. These pricks are 
just too dumb to have that kind of information. I think the only 
way these dogs are going to be stopped are a few at a time, just like 
we're doing here. " 

An unmarked car pulled up and a Crime Prevention officer, Lieu- 
tenant Walter Braunschweig, got out. He motioned to two 
flak- vested assault sergeants, Edward Epting and Ralph Schaum- 
leffel, who would lead the teams that would storm the two apart- 
ments. "Get your men in place," he instructed. "We hit in exactly 
ten minutes." 

Coreris, Fotinos, and Walley quickly finished their coffee and 
moved into their respective positions. The Crime Prevention lieu- 
tenant, who was staging the overall assault, reached into the police 
car and took the radio mike. "Zebra Two, Three, Four, Five, and 
Six, this is Zebra One. Come in, please." From five different loca- 
tions, including a roving patrol around the overall area, the assault 
team leaders responded. 

"We're at minus eight minutes," the lieutenant advised. "There 
will be no more radio contact prior to the operation. Begin your re- 
spective assaults at exactly five a.m. Acknowledge." 

Each of the teams acknowledged. The lieutenant tossed the mike 
into the car and picked up a riot gun. "Let's move in," he said. 

Everyone moved quickly and quietly into place in the predawn 


Clark Howard 

light. When all were ready, and the lieutenant's watch read five 
o'clock straight up, he spoke to an officer next to him and the offi- 
cer flashed a battle lantern as a signal. Other lanterns, and spot- 
lights, went on all around the building — and the assault began. 

An officer with a steel crowbar hooked its neck around the door- 
knob of apartment two and smartly snapped it off. Another officer 
stepped in front of the door and kicked it open with one powerful 
thrust. The door slammed back on its hinges. Shotguns held at the 
ready, the officers stormed into the apartment. 

In seconds, apartment two was awash with light from half a doz- 
en battle lanterns, and shotguns, aimed and ready, covered every 
closet, corner, and crevice on the premises. The occupant of the 
apartment, J. C. Simon, sat up in bed in his underwear, eyes wide 
and bulging, face frozen with fear. 

"I give up! I give up! Don't shoot!" he pleaded. 

Not: ' 'What 's going on ? What 's happening ? What 's the meaning 
of this?" 

Just: "I give up. Don't shoot. " 

The apartment lights were switched on. Coreris and Fotinos, 
guns drawn and aimed, stared at the terrified man on the bed; after 
a moment, his eyes focused in the light and he stared back at them. 
At that suspended moment in time, Coreris thought of Roxie 
McMillian and the man who said "Hi" before crippling her for life; 
and Coreris thought about Tana Smith, who had coped with and 
finally solved so many of her life's personal problems — just in time 
to be murdered. Only J. C. Simon knows what he was thinking at 
that precise moment. But whatever it was — and he must have been 
sure by now that he was not going to be killed in his bed; the offi- 
cers were too calm, too mechanical in their duty — there was still no 
outraged indignation, still no demand for an explanation, still no 
behavior of any kind to indicate that J.C. did not know why they 
were there. 

"Put your hands behind your back," Fotinos said, pulling out his 

"Say, don't I be allowed to get dressed?" J.C. asked. 

"We'll give you some clothes after we search the place," Corer- 
is told him. He showed J.C. a folded document. "This is a duly au- 
thorized search warrant. At this time I am arresting you on a 
charge of suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder." 



"Hey, man, I didn't commit no murder!" J.C. snapped. "This is 
a frame-up!" 

"I'm going to read you your rights," Coreris said, ignoring the 

While Coreris read Simon his rights, Fotinos and the other offi- 
cers methodically searched the apartment. 

When Coreris was finished, he left Simon in the custody of one 
of the assault officers and walked down to apartment seven. There, 
in the middle of the living room, wrists cuffed behind him, Larry 
Green stood in his shorts. Standing nearby were his wife Dinah and 
her baby, both crying. A homicide inspector had just finished read- 
ing Larry his rights, and the young prisoner was vehemently pro- 
testing his innocence. 

"I tell you, you got the wrong person!" he stormed. "I didn't do 
no murder! Turn me out of these handcuffs, man! You hear me? I 
didn't do nothing to be arrested for!" 

After both apartments were thoroughly searched for weapons or 
other evidence — and none found — the suspects were allowed to 
dress and were taken out to waiting police cars. The assault lieu- 
tenant checked with other Zebra teams, listened to them one by 
one, then went over to Coreris. "Everyone's in custody, Gus," he 
said. "Black Self Help is secure and the boys from the Crime Lab 
have moved in to check the place out." 

"Any guns found anywhere?" 

"Afraid not, Gus. Sorry." 

Coreris and Fotinos exchanged disappointed looks. They badly 
needed a gun that could be directly connected to one of the sus- 
pects. Two guns had been used in the shootings. Both were .32- 
caliber automatics. The first had been used to shoot Erakat, Dan- 
cik, Agnos, DiGirolamo, Bertuccio, Roselli, Moynihan, and Hos- 
ier. Eight victims, six of them dead. The second gun had been used 
to shoot Smith, Wollin, Bambic, Holly, McMillian, Rainwater, 
Story, Anderson, White, and Shields. Ten victims, six dead. The 
gun used in the Rose killing and the Ellen Linder sex attack, found 
in the possession of Jesse Lee Cooks at the time of his arrest, had 
been in custody since before the long string of shootings began. 
And in the Hague and John Doe #169 cases, no weapon had been 

"If we can't tie in a gun," Fotinos said, "maybe there'll be some 


Clark Howard 

knives or meat cleavers with traces of blood on them at Black Self 

"Yeah, maybe," Coreris said. There was little optimism in his 
voice, and Fotinos knew why. 

Without a weapon, or some physical evidence, it was going to be 
almost impossible to convict the men. 


The Gun 

The two young black boys were playing a modified game of base- 
ball — modified because there was only two of them and they had 
no baseball field, only the backyard of one of the boys in which to 
play. The yard was behind the Shields Street home of eight-year- 
old Cleon Jones, who had been named after the star outfielder of 
the New York Mets. The boy he was playing with was Darrell Bot- 
ney, age ten. 

The game they played was simple. One of them pitched, the oth- 
er batted. When the batter made three outs by hitting the ball in 
such a fashion that it could be caught by the pitcher, then the two 
changed positions and the pitcher took his turn at bat. The only 
rule was that the ball had to stay inside the yard; over the fence 
was an automatic out. 

Darrell, who was considerably stronger and taller than Cleon, 
had trouble keeping the ball inside the fence. Cleon knew that and 
purposely pitched easy hits to him, knowing that when he connect- 
ed, there was a good chance the ball would go over the fence for an 

That was just what happened. Cleon pitched a good one — and 
Darrell popped it into the next yard. 


Clark Howard 

"That's it!" Cleon yelled. "You out!" 

Darrell threw the bat on the ground and the two boys headed for 
the fence. 

"Gimme a boost over," said Cleon. 

Darrell cupped his hands and Cleon put one foot in them and was 
boosted to the top of the fence. He hopped into the next yard and 
began looking for the ball. The grass in the yard was wild and thick, 
covered by a layer of fallen pine needles. As Cleon walked, the 
needles made crunching sounds under his feet. Suddenly his toe hit 
something solid. The ball, he thought. He reached into the grass 
and found that it was not the ball at all. 

It was a gun. 

Cleon's father, F. A. Jones, called the police and Officers David 
Roccaforte and Gary Elsenbroich in Unit 3H-7 answered the call. 

"My boy found this," said Jones, producing the pistol. "In the 
rear yard that backs up to our rear yard." The Jones family home 
was at 621 Shields. The rear yard to which Jones was referring ex- 
tended back from a house on the nearest perpendicular street, at 
271 Vernon. 

Roccaforte immediately removed the magazine and checked the 
breech to make certain the weapon was not loaded. Then the two 
officers examined the gun closely. The weapon was a Beretta mod- 
el 70, 7.65-millimeter automatic pistol. 

Elsenbroich looked at his partner. "Seven-point-sixty-five milli- 
meter is the same as a thirty-two, isn't it?" 

"I think so," Roccaforte replied. 

Both officers knew they were less than a block from where the 
last Zebra killing had taken place. 

"We'd better call the Crime Lab," Roccaforte said. 

At the Crime Lab, the Beretta pistol was first carefully proc- 
essed for fingerprints. No usable prints were found. Next, it was 
photographed, top and sides, for identification. Then it was 
test-fired into a barrel of water in the lab's basement gun room, and 
the test bullet was retrieved and compared with laboratory speci- 
mens number 74-2686, the bullets and casings in the homicide of 
Nelson Shields IV. 



The bullets matched. 

"We got us a gun!" Coreris said jubilantly after the Crime Lab 
called him. "The lab has got a Beretta that some kid found a block 
from the Shields killing, and it matches the slugs in every case 
since Tana Smith!" 

Fotinos began to count them on his fingers from memory. 
"Smith, Wollin, Bambic, Holly, McMillian, the two Salvation 
Army kids, Anderson, Terry White, and Shields. Jesus, that's ten 
of them. Any prints?" 

Coreris shook his head. "No prints. But if we can trace that gun 
to one of those dogs we've got locked up, we're in business." 

Coreris dragged the phone over and called the San Francisco 
office of the U. S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, To- 
bacco, and Firearms. "Special Agent Lyman Shaffer," he told the 
girl who answered. A moment later, Shaffer came on the line. 
"Gus Coreris here, Lyman, how are you?" 

"Good, Gus, good. How's Zebra doing?" 

"Glad you asked," said Coreris. "We've found one of the guns 
and need to get it traced. Can ATF do it for us?" 

"You bet. San Francisco's our city too, Gus. Send me a request 
in writing and we'll get right on it." 

"Beautiful," said Coreris. 

Lyman Shaffer was twenty-nine years old. He had been a special 
agent for ATF for two years, having joined the Treasury Depart- 
ment after spending five years as a Berkeley police officer, ending 
up in Homicide. He had known Coreris and Fotinos, also Mitch 
Luksich, since his Berkeley PD days. 

When the request for the gun trace came in, Shaffer immediately 
put its description into the ATF's main computers in Washington, 
D.C. For purposes of tracing, the gun became: Beretta, Model 70, 
7.65-mm semiautomatic pistol, blue steel, 3" barrel, serial number 

In Washington, ATF tracer personnel took Shaffer's information 
and went to work. Under the authority of the 1968 Gun Control 
Act, ATF can assist any state or municipal law enforcement agen- 
cy in tracing any firearm connected with any crime, whether feder- 
al or not. With the information on the Zebra gun, an ATF tracer 


Clark Howard 

made contact by overseas telephone with the gun files of the Pietro 
Beretta Company in Gardone, Italy. Within minutes, ATF was told 
that Beretta number A47469 had been sold in April 1968 to J. L. 
Galef and Son, a firearms importer in New York City. 

ATF's New York office checked with Galef and Son. That par- 
ticular handgun had been wholesaled to the J. C. Penney ware- 
house in Statesville, North Carolina. The Penney warehouse had in 
turn consigned the weapon to a Penney retail outlet in Tacoma, 
Washington. There, on July 31, 1968, it was sold to Peter David 
Puppo, a United States Air Force medic stationed at McCord Air 
Force Base. 

Shaffer ran a check on Puppo; he had no criminal record. Now 
discharged, he had long since left the Tacoma area. A check with 
the Air Force showed that his mother lived in Santa Barbara. 
Shaffer drove down there and interviewed her. She said her son 
was living in a religious commune in Albion, California, a tiny 
coastal hamlet a hundred miles north of San Francisco. The Beret- 
ta, Shaffer told himself, was getting closer to home. Closer to Ze- 

Driving up to Albion the next day, Shaffer located and inter- 
viewed Peter David Puppo. 

"Yeah," Puppo said, "I used to own that gun. Until about a year 
ago. I gave it to my roommate. Brad Bishop." 

Bradley Eugene Bishop did have a record. He had been convict- 
ed in Marin County, California, of the sale of dangerous drugs, and 
at that time was a wanted fugitive for the same crime. For a time, 
he and Puppo had shared an apartment at 3721 Twenty-fifth 
Street — in San Francisco. 

Bull's-eye, Shaffer thought. But it was not to be. 

From Bishop's criminal record, Shaffer learned that his mother 
lived in Novato, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge. 
He drove up and interviewed her. Mrs. Nola Bishop had not seen 
her son for about eight weeks, since he left to drive down to Los 
Angeles to look for work. What was he driving? Shaffer inquired. 
"A sixty-two Chrysler station wagon," Mrs. Bishop said. Shaffer 
ran a DMV check on the car. It was registered to Bishop and car- 
ried license plate number BFU 443. Shaffer also learned one other 
thing from Bishop's mother: his grandmother lived in Los Angeles. 



Three days later, Shaffer was in Los Angeles. He spoke with the 
grandmother, Mrs. E. M. Bishop. "Brad came to see me about six 
weeks ago," she told him. "He said he was living in Downey and 
working for a construction company." 

Shaffer moved on to Downey, a Los Angeles suburb twenty 
miles south. He began his search there by checking with all the li- 
censed contractors in the area, but Bishop was not on the payroll 
under either his own name or the alias of James Andrew Wilson 
that he was known to use in the drug business. Next, Shaffer inter- 
viewed all postal carriers in Downey. None of them was able to 
help him. On a hunch, Shaffer put out a tracer on the Chrysler sta- 
tion wagon. Santa Monica Police Department responded. The vehi- 
cle had been picked up by them after being abandoned with a bro- 
ken drive shaft. Shaffer went to Santa Monica and searched the 
car. Nothing. He interviewed residents of the area where it had 
been abandoned. Nothing. 

The trail of Brad Bishop in Southern California was cold, so 
Shaffer went back up north. Through criminal records and other 
files, San Francisco ATF compiled a list of two dozen names of 
people who knew or had known Brad Bishop in the Bay Area. 
Shaffer began a methodical interrogation operation, tracking down 
each person and interviewing them regarding Bishop's where- 
abouts. Several people "thought" they knew where Bishop 
"might" be — but no one was certain. Among Shaffer's informants 
was one woman who said she had recently heard that Bishop was 
in Hawaii. 

Shaffer teletyped Bishop's photo and record to the Honolulu Po- 
lice Department. Three weeks later, Honolulu PD cabled Shaffer 
that Bishop had been located. Shaffer obtained a federal warrant 
charging Bishop, a felon, with violation of federal gun laws. The 
ATF agent flew to Hawaii. By the time Shaffer got to Honolulu, 
Bishop had left the island of Oahu and gone to Maui. Shaffer fol- 
lowed him. On Maui, an all-points bulletin was put out for Bishop. 
Maui police located him in Lahaina and he was taken into custody. 

Shaffer telephoned Gus Coreris on the mainland. He had kept 
Coreris informed every step of the way in the long search for Bish- 
op; now he wanted him to know that it was over. "I've got our man 
locked up on Maui, Gus," he told the detective. "This guy puts the 


Clark Howard 

Beretta in San Francisco in April 1973. That's just eight months be- 
fore the Zebra killers started using it." 

"Beautiful," said Coreris. "Hang on to that joker. I'll be there 
on the next plane." 

Coreris grabbed Jeff Brosch and flew to Hawaii. The next morn- 
ing the three of them interrogated Brad Bishop. 

"Mr. Bishop," said Coreris, "we're interested in a Beretta auto- 
matic pistol — " 

"I don't own a gun," Bishop said defensively. 

"I know you don't. But you used to. You got a Beretta automat- 
ic from Peter David Puppo in March of last year in San Francisco. 
What did you do with the gun?" 

Bishop shrugged. "I don't remember." 

Coreris sighed dramatically. "You're sure?" 

"Positive. I don't remember." 

"Okay," Coreris said resignedly. "Sorry to have bothered 
you." He nodded to Shaffer. "Book him for murder." 

The color drained from Brad Bishop's face. "What? Murder? 
Hey, man, what the hell are you talking about?" 

Coreris put his face very close to Bishop. "We're talking about 
murder, Bishop. Murder committed with that Beretta automatic. 
Six murders, to be exact. All in San Francisco. And since you were 
the last one to have the gun — also in San Francisco — it looks like 
you're as good a suspect as we're going to find." He nodded to 
Shaffer again. "Go ahead, book him for murder. Six counts." 

"Hey, hold it! Hold it now!" Bishop pleaded. "I didn't have 
nothing to do with any murders, man!" 

"Then you'd better tell us what you did with that gun," Coreris 
said evenly. "And you'd better tell us quick." 

"Okay, okay." Bishop lowered his eyes. "I sold it. For twenty 

"Who to?" 

"A guy named Ed St. Andre. He lives on Seventeenth Street in 
San Francisco. But he don't have it anymore; some dude named 
Dick Arzave ripped it off from Ed's apartment." 

"How do you know that?" Coreris asked. 

" 'Cause I helped Ed find the guy," Bishop explained. 

Slowly, the detectives pieced together the story. Bishop had sold 



the Beretta to Edmond St. Andre, who had a police record for rob- 
bery. A week later, the gun had been stolen from St. Andre's apart- 
ment at 3562 Seventeenth Street. Bishop and St. Andre had nar- 
rowed the suspected thieves down to one person: Richard Arzave, 
who also had a criminal record. The two men confronted Arzave; 
he admitted stealing the gun — and selling it. Bishop and St. Andre 
made Arzave pay them seventy-five dollars for the gun and to over- 
look the theft. That was the last Bishop had heard of the gun or Ar- 

Coreris let Shaffer keep Brad Bishop to answer the federal gun 
law violation, while he and Jeff Brosch flew back to San Francisco 
to continue the gun trace. When they got home, they located Ed- 
mund St. Andre, who told them the same story Bishop had told 
them. He also gave them Richard Arzave's address in San Bruno. 

Doggedly, the officers ran down Arzave. He admitted his role in 
the theft of the Beretta, his subsequent purchase of the gun from 
St. Andre, and his own sale of the weapon to one David Bonnelli, 
the proprietor of Atchinson's Pharmacy at 1607 Twentieth Street in 
San Francisco. 

"How did the sale come about?" Coreris asked him. 

"I work with Bonnelli's brother at the Gallo Wine warehouse in 
South San Francisco," Arzave said. "I mentioned to him that I had 
a gun for sale and he said he had a brother who might be interested 
in buying it. So he sent me up to the drugstore to see him. And I 
sold him the gun." 

Back to San Francisco. At Atchinson's Pharmacy, David Bon- 
nelli was very evasive with Coreris; he was clearly fearful of being 
implicated in a crime. Coreris reassured him. 

"Mr. Bonnelli, this matter that we're concerned with is a very 
serious homicide. Believe me, I'm not interested in any possible 
minor charges for the illegal sale of a firearm or anything like that. I 
just want to know what you did with the gun. That's all I care 
about. Understand?" 

"You're sure?" said Bonnelli. "This isn't some kind of trick?" 

"No trick," Coreris promised. "What did you do with it?" 

"I sold it to a customer," Bonnelli finally admitted. "For eighty 

"Who's the customer?" 


Clark Howard 

"Moo Moo Tooa," saidBonnelli. 


"Moo Moo Tooa. He's a Samoan. You know, from Samoa." 

Bonnelli could not tell the detectives where Moo Moo lived, and 
he had not seen him in several weeks. The Zebra Squad began a re- 
lentless search for the Samoan. An oversized, tattooed, former 
longshoreman and stevedore, he was known on the streets by a 
number of people, but no one was able to tell the detectives exactly 
where he lived. Then Coreris and his men got one of their rare 
breaks: Moo Moo walked into Atchinson's Pharmacy and David 
Bonnelli telephoned them at once. The detectives arrived before he 
left the store. 

Moo Moo Tooa would have trusted the devil himself before he 
trusted a police officer. He had been in trouble with the law nearly 
all of his life, beginning in his early youth when he refused to regis- 
ter for the draft, down through years of brawling in South Pacific 
bars and being charged with assault and battery because of it. 
When Coreris questioned him about the Beretta, he said he had 
thrown it away. 

"At first I pawned it," he said. "At the San Francisco Loan As- 
sociation over on Sixth Street. I got twenty-five dollars for it in 
hock. Left it in there for about three months, I guess. Then I got it 
out and threw it away." 

Coreris eyed the big Samoan skeptically. "You took it out of 
hock just to throw it away? Is that what you're telling me?" 

"That's it. See, I had to sign some forms at the pawnshop, man. 
I was scared of them forms, you know. Like they connected me 
with that gun, see. I didn't want to be connected with no gun." 

"No? Why'd you buy it then?" 

Moo Moo shrugged his big shoulders. "Just an impulse. A spur- 
of-the-moment thing. It was a mistake. I didn't need no gun for 

Coreris tried to reassure Moo Moo as he had Bonnelli. "I need to 
know where the gun went, Moo Moo," he told him. "I promise 
there won't be any charges pressed against you, no matter who you 
passed the gun on to or how you did it. If you traded it for dope or 
whatever, sold it to an ex-con, I don't care, understand? No 
charges. Just tell me what you really did with the gun." 



Moo Moo shrugged again. "I threw it away, man." 

Moo Moo stuck tenaciously to his story. A check with the pawn- 
shop showed that it had been left as security for a $25 loan on May 
5, 1973, and redeemed for that amount plus interest on August 30, 
1973. Within the hour after redeeming the gun, according to Moo 
Moo, he had placed the gun, in a paper bag, in a trash can on the 
northwest corner of Sixth and Mission. 

"That doesn't make sense," Coreris challenged. "If you were 
going to throw the thing away, why not just leave it in the pawn- 
shop and forget it?" 

"I told you," Moo Moo said. "I wanted the forms I signed torn 
up. Only way to get that done was to get the gun back." 

"I think you're lying, Moo Moo," Coreris told him bluntly. 

Moo Moo was unmoved. "That's your privilege," he said with- 
out rancor. He refused to change his story. 

On the off chance that Tooa was telling the truth, the Zebra team 
contacted the Department of Public Works. They determined that 
trash truck number 793 had been assigned to the Sixth and Mission 
area on the day Moo Moo claimed to have thrown away the gun. 
The men assigned to the truck that day were James Reed and Thur- 
man Spriull. Both men denied finding the weapon, and stated that 
they had never found any gun during their careers with the depart- 
ment. Both volunteered to submit to lie detector examinations to 
substantiate their statements. 

Coreris went back to Moo Moo. He begged, pleaded, threat- 
ened, cajoled, attempted to bribe, and used every other approach 
he could think of to make the Samoan tell the truth about what he 
did with the Beretta. But Moo Moo's instinctive distrust of the po- 
lice prevailed. He was unmoved by anything Coreris said. He had 
thrown the gun away — and that was that. 

Coreris did not give up. At regular intervals he had Fotinos, 
Brosch, and Klotz locate Moo Moo and talk to him again. Each 
man tried his own personal style of persuasion on the big Sa- 
moan — and each man failed. Moo Moo Tooa was unshakable. But 
the detectives kept trying; it was four to one, they figured; maybe 
they would eventually wear him down. 

They were right. The constant pressure applied by the detectives 
finally got to Moo Moo. But he did not change his story; he simply 


Clark Howard 

dropped out of sight. The Zebra Squad combed the Tenderloin for 
Moo Moo: they checked the flophouses, the bars, the hangouts; 
questioned people who knew him; alerted David Bonnelli again; 
put his estranged wife, Fatu, under surveillance; requested an all- 
points bulletin from the patrol division; and in general put out a 
dragnet for the big Samoan. All to no avail. Moo Moo Tooa, ever 
clever, ever resourceful, completely evaded location. 

For Coreris and his team, it looked like the end of the line. 

Then the situation got worse. 

On September 12, 1974, sixteen days after Moo Moo Tooa had 
gone underground, he was walking out of a movie theater where he 
had spent the afternoon, when suddenly he clutched at his left arm- 
pit and fell to his knees. Then he pitched forward, dead. An autop- 
sy later revealed a massive heart attack. 

Now, for Gus Coreris and his men, this was the end of the line. 
The Beretta's chain of ownership had been broken, unequivocally, 
by death. The State of California would have to proceed against 
the Zebra defendants without the physical evidence of a murder 
gun — because unless there was some way to connect the Beretta 
with one of the defendants, they might as well not have the gun at 

The luck of the Zebra killers was holding. 


The Indictment 

Seven men had been arrested for the Zebra crimes. The eighth, 
Jesse Lee Cooks, was already in custody. After a careful analysis 
of the statement given by Anthony Harris, and after numerous wit- 
nesses from the various crimes had been located and brought to the 
Hall of Justice to view lineups and identify suspects, it was finally 
decided by the district attorney to release four of the men. What 
Anthony Harris said, coupled with what Zebra witnesses saw, pro- 
vided enough evidence to indict only J. C. Simon, Manuel Moore, 
Larry Green, and Jesse Cooks. 

On May 16, 1974, fifteen days after they were apprehended, the 
four remaining defendants, on the basis of testimony from thirty- 
one witnesses, were formally indicted by a grand jury on one count 
of conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of murder, two 
counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, and four counts of 
assault with a deadly weapon. Based on only those crimes, which 
the district attorney felt could be proved beyond a reasonable 
doubt, the indictment read as follows: 

In the Superior Court of the State of California In and For the City 
and County of San Francisco. 


Clark Howard 

People of the State of California, No. 88244 


Manuel Moore, J. C. Simon, 
Larry Craig Green, and Jesse Cooks, Defendants. 

Indictment for Felony, To Wit: Conspiracy to Violate Penal Code 
Section 187 (Murder); Green & Cooks: Murder (187 P.C.); 2 Cts. 
Kidnapping (207 P.C.); 2 Cts. Robbery (211 P.C.); Assault With A 
Deadly Weapon (245a P.C.) Moore & Simon: 2 Cts. Murder (187 
P.C.); Assault With A Deadly Weapon (245a P.C.) Moore: Assault 
With A Deadly Weapon (245a P.C.) 
Count 1: 

Manuel Moore, J. C. Simon, Larry Craig Green, and Jesse Cooks, 
defendants, are accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of 
San Francisco, State of California, by this indictment, of the crime 
of felony, to wit: Violation of Section 182 Penal Code of California 
(Conspiracy), committed as follows: The said defendants, during the 
period of time between October 20, 1973, and April 30, 1974, at the 
City and County of San Francisco, State of California, did conspire 
and agree with each other and with other persons to violate the provi- 
sions of Section 187 Penal Code (Murder). 

Overt Act No. 1: 

That on or about the month of October 1973, in the City and County 
of San Francisco, State of California, in pursuance of and to carry 
out the object of the said conspiracy, Larry Craig Green, Jesse 
Cooks, Manuel Moore, J. C. Simon and others met in an apartment 
located at 844 Grove Street. 

Overt Act No. 2: 

That on or about the 20th day of October, 1973, in the City and Coun- 
ty of San Francisco, State of California, in pursuance of and to carry 
out the object of the said conspiracy, Larry Craig Green and Jesse 
Cooks rode in a white Dodge van to the area of Chestnut near Powell 

Overt Act No. 3: 

That on or about the 11th day of December, 1973, in the City and 



County of San Francisco, State of California, in pursuance of and to 
carry out the object of the conspiracy, J. C. Simon and Manuel 
Moore rode in a Cadillac automobile at approximately 9:30 p.m. to 
the area of Haight and Buchanan Streets, at which place both men 
got out of the automobile. 

Overt Act No. 4: 

That on or about the 14th day of April, 1974, at approximately 9:15 
p.m., in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, in 
pursuance of and to carry out the object of the said conspiracy, 
Manuel Moore walked to the area of Hayes and Fillmore Street 
where he talked to two persons on the sidewalk. 

Count 2: 

Allegations As To Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks: 

Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 187 Penal Code of California (Murder), commit- 
ted as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 20th day of Oc- 
tober, 1973, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cali- 
fornia, did murder Quita Hague, a human being. 

Count 3: 

Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 207 Penal Code of California (Kidnapping), 
committed as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 20th day 
of October, 1973, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of 
California, did forcibly steal and take Quita Hague and carry her into 
another part of the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cali- 

Count 4: 

Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 


Clark Howard 

Violation of Section 211 Penal Code of California (Robbery), com- 
mitted as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 20th day of 
October, 1973, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of 
California, did rob Quita Hague of a white metal ring with an emerald 

Great Bodily Injury Allegation as to Larry Craig Green (Section 213 
Penal Code): 

That in the course of commission of said robbery, said defendant, 
Larry Craig Green, with intent to inflict such injury, did inflict great 
bodily injury on Quita Hague. 


Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony to wit: 
Violation of Section 207 Penal Code of California (Kidnapping), 
committed as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 20th day 
of October, 1973, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of 
California, did forcibly steal and take Richard Hague and carry him 
to another part of the City and County of San Francisco, State of 

Count 6: 

Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 211 Penal Code of California (Robbery), com- 
mitted as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 20th day of 
October, 1973, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of 
California, did rob Richard Hague of a wallet, driver's license, and 
personal papers. 

Great Bodily Injury Allegation as to Jesse Cooks (Section 213 Penal 

That in the course of commission of said robbery, said defendant, 
Jesse Cooks, with intent to inflict such injury, did inflict great bodily 
injury on Richard Hague. 


Count 7: 

Larry Craig Green and Jesse Cooks, defendants herein, are further 
accused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 245a Penal Code of California (assault With A 
Deadly Weapon), committed as follows: The said defendants, on or 
about the 20th day of October, 1973, at the City and County of San 
Francisco, State of California, did assault Richard Hague with a 
deadly weapon. 

Firearm Use Allegation as to Jesse Cooks (Section 12022.5 Penal 

In the commission of each of the crimes alleged in Counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 
and 7, the defendant, Jesse Cooks, used a firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Count 8: 

Allegations as to Manuel Moore and J. C. Simon: 

Manuel Moore and J. C. Simon, defendants herein, are further ac- 
cused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 187 Penal Code of California (Murder), commit- 
ted as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 28th day of Jan- 
uary, 1974, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cali- 
fornia, did murder Tana Smith, a human being. 

Firearm Use Allegation as to J. C. Simon (Section 12022.5 Penal 

In the commission of said offense, the defendant, J. C. Simon, used a 
firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Count 9: 

Manuel Moore and J. C. Simon, defendants herein, are further ac- 
cused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 187 Penal Code of California (Murder), commit- 
ted as follows: The said defendants, on or about the 28th day of Jan- 
uary, 1974, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cali- 
fornia, did murder Jane Holly, a human being. 


Clark Howard 

Firearm Use Allegation as to Manuel Moore (Section 12022.5 Penal 

In the commission of said offense, the defendant, Manuel Moore, 
used a firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Count 10: 

Manuel Moore and J. C. Simon, defendants herein, are further ac- 
cused by the Grand Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, 
State of California, by this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: 
Violation of Section 245a Penal Code of California (Assault With A 
Deadly Weapon), committed as follows: The said defendants, on or 
about the 28th day of January, 1974, at the City and County of San 
Francisco, State of California, did assault Roxanne McMillian with a 
deadly weapon. 

Firearm Use Allegation as to J. C Simon (Section 12022.5 Penal 

In the commission of said offense, the defendant, J. C. Simon, used a 
firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Count 11: 

Allegation as to Manuel Moore: 

Manuel Moore, a defendant herein, is further accused by the Grand 
Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, by 
this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: Violation of Section 
245a Penal Code of California (Assault With A Deadly Weapon), 
committed as follows: The said defendant, on or about the 14th day 
of April, 1974, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cal- 
ifornia, did assault Terry White with a deadly weapon. 

Firearm Use Allegation (Section 12022.5 Penal Code): 

In the commission of the said offense, the defendant, Manuel Moore, 
used a firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Count 12: 

Manuel Moore, a defendant herein, is further accused by the Grand 
Jury of the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, by 



this indictment, of the crime of felony, to wit: Violation of Section 
245a Penal Code of California (Assault With A Deadly Weapon), 
committed as follows: The said defendant, on or about the 14th day 
of April, 1974, at the City and County of San Francisco, State of Cal- 
ifornia, did assault Ward Anderson with a deadly weapon. 

Firearms Use Allegation (Section 12022.5 Penal Code): 

In the commission of said offense, the defendant, Manuel Moore, 
used a firearm, to wit: a pistol. 

Allegation As To Prior Convictions of Jesse Cooks: 

Before the commission of the offenses herinbefore set forth in this 
indictment, said defendant, Jesse Cooks, was convicted of the fol- 
lowing felonies: 

(1) In the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the 
County of Los Angeles, on or about December 10, 1965, the crime of 
Robbery, a violation of Section 211 Penal Code, and he served a term 
of imprisonment therefor. 

(2) In the District Court of the United States for the Southern District 
of California, on or about January 24, 1966, the crime of Bank Rob- 
bery, a violation of 18 USC 2113(a) (d), and he served a term of im- 
prisonment therefor. 

Allegation As To Prior Conviction Of Manuel Moore: 

Before the commission of the offenses hereinbefore set forth in this 
indictment, said defendant, Manuel Moore, was, in the Superior 
Court of the State of California, in and for the County of San Bernar- 
dino, on or about May 13, 1969, convicted of the felony of Burglary 
in violation of Section 459 Penal Code, and he served a term of im- 
prisonment therefor. 

A True Bill John Jay Ferdon, District Attorney 

(signed) James T. Rodman By (signed) Walter N. Guibbini 

Foreman of the Assistant District 

Grand Jury Attorney 

Names of Witnesses examined before the Grand Jury on finding the 
foregoing indictment: Louis Daugherty, M.D., Richard Hague, In- 


Clark Howard 

spector William Armstrong, Guy Bernardo. David Bienvineste, 
Chief Petty Officer L. C. Green, Yolande Williams, Mitchell Luk- 
sich, Inspector Gus Coreris, Anthony C. Harris, Jack Callas, Lynn 
Susoeff, Angela Rose Hi, Preston Demings, Jack Frost, Curtis L. 
Jones, Richard O. Williams, Denise R. Norman, Roxanne McMilli- 
an, Carol Matison, Linda Story, Terry White, Officer Bruce Maro- 
yich, Officer L. Manwiller, Officer James Ludlow, Officer Thomas 
Arnold, Officer Donal Merkley, Officer Stephen Gudelj, Officer 
Ricky Blim, Inspector Thomas Murphy, Shoji Horikoshi. 

Order Assigning Cause And 
Fixing Bail 

It is hereby ordered that a bench warrant issue for the arrest 
of each of the within named defendants and that bail as to each 
defendant be fixed in the sum of $300,000 cash or surety bond. 

It is further ordered that the within named indictment and cause 
be assigned to Department No. 23 for trial and determination. 

Dated: 5/16/74 

(Signed) Clayton M. Am 
Presiding Judge 

(The foregoing Grand Jury Indictment has been reproduced ver- 
batim except for the changing of one name.) 


The Final Link 

On January 5, 1975, just six weeks before the Zebra trial was to 
begin, Gus Coreris returned to his Homicide desk late in the after- 
noon and found a message from one of the lockup sergeants at the 
city prison. Coreris returned the call. 

"Gus," the jailer said, "you ever hear of a guy named Arnold 
George Lucas?" 

Coreris closed his eyes and plowed into his memory. "Lucas — 
Lucas — Arnold George Lucas. Yeah, I know him. Junkie. Small- 
time cat burglar and fence." 

"We've got him over here in the cooler with a couple of burglary 
charges against him," the jailer said. "He asked me on the sly to 
get in touch with you. Says he's got something he wants to trade 

"Did he say what it was?" 

"No, just that it was something you'd be interested in." 

Coreris thought about it for a moment. He had not had any con- 
tact with Lucas for several years, could not even think of any cases 
of his that Lucas would be connected with. Zebra did not even oc- 
cur to him; Lucas, a freaky drug-addict type, was not even close to 
being Muslim material. 


Clark Howard 

"All right, tell him I'll be over," the detective said finally. 

Later that day he went over to the city prison. That was where, 
for the past nine and a half months, the four accused Zebra prison- 
ers had been held awaiting trial. They were segregated from each 
other and from all other prisoners: J. C. Simon was in cell G-5, 
Larry Green in F-2, Manuel Moore in H-l, and Jesse Lee Cooks, 
who had been brought there from Folsom, in K-6. A special memo 
pertaining to the men had been issued by police captain J. William 
Conroy, who was in charge of the jail. It read: 

These prisoners are to be considered extremely dangerous. They 
shall be kept separated and no message of any kind, by any means, 
shall be transmitted from one to the other. 

Control of these prisoners is the task of City Prison personnel. Pun- 
ishment is the task of the courts. Harassment of these prisoners, in 
any fashion, will not be tolerated. Custodial personnel are to be cau- 
tious, firm, but fair. 

Trusty bosses shall impress upon Trustys that they shall use the out- 
side corridor exclusively when going to and coming from this area. 

The attorneys visiting room shall be inspected thoroughly following 
its use by any attorney visiting any prisoner. 

The medical staff shall be particularly attentive to feigned illness on 
the part of any of these prisoners, since escape from the City and 
County Hospital would be far easier than from this prison. 

Absolute tight security shall be instituted throughout the prison, 
effective immediately. 

After they had been in custody sixteen days, a list of ten visitors, 
not including attorneys, was approved by the prison administra- 
tion. Larry Green was allowed four visitors: Booker Green, his fa- 
ther; Cloteal Green, his mother; Dinah Green, his wife; and Dede 
Green, his sister. Manuel Moore was allowed three visitors: Gloria 
2X Moore, who was listed as his wife; and Raymond Moore, his fa- 
ther, and Jean Moore, his sister, both of whom lived in Riverside 
County, 450 miles away. J. C. Simon was allowed one visitor: Gre- 
ta X Burgess, who was listed as his wife. Greta Burgess lived in 



San Francisco; in fact, lived down the street and around the corner 
from where the last Zebra victim, Nelson Shields IV had been 
killed. The backyard of her building almost touched the backyard 
where the Beretta pistol was found. 

The other two approved visitors, who were allowed to visit all 
three prisoners, were John Muhammad, listed as their minister, 
and Joseph X Polite, his assistant minister. 

Jesse Lee Cooks had no approved visitors. He had not requested 
any, and no one showed any interest in visiting him. 

When Coreris arrived at City Prison, he had Arnold George Lu- 
cas brought to one of the attorney rooms so that they could confer 
in private. When Lucas was brought in, Coreris was surprised to 
see how healthy he appeared. 

"You look like you're ready to start playing basketball again," 
he commented. 

"I'm off the stuff," Lucas said. 

"Sure," Coreris replied skeptically. 

"No shit, Inspector," Lucas said. "I been off junk since last 
April, nearly nine months now. See for yourself," he said, rolling 
up his sleeves. 

Coreris examined his arms. They looked clean, all right; all the 
tracks were old scars, from old needles. 

"Well, good, Arnold, I'm glad to see it," said Coreris. "Now all 
you have to do is give up burglary." 

Lucas grinned. "Come on, Inspector. A guy's got to live." 

Coreris decided to get down to business. "What did you want to 
see me about, Arnold?" 

"You're in charge of Zebra, right?" 


"Are you guys going to put Tom Manney on trial?" Manney was 
one of the eight men originally named by Anthony Harris, and one 
of the four whom the district attorney's office subsequently re- 
leased after their arrests. He was the manager of Black Self Help 
Moving and Storage, and owned an older model black Cadillac. 

"No, Manney wasn't indicted," Coreris said. "The D.A. didn't 
feel he had enough hard evidence to bring him to trial." 


Clark Howard 

"That's too bad," Lucas said. "I was thinking I might be able to 
help you out if he went to trial. See, I sold Manney some guns now 
and then." 

"Oh?" Coreris's interest came alive. "What kind of guns, Ar- 

"I sold him a thirty-eight, a three-fifty-seven Magnum and two 

"What kind of thirty-twos were they?" 


Was it possible? Coreris asked himself. Could it possibly turn 
out like this? A million-to-one shot? 

Wait a minute now, he cautioned. This is one smart kid you're 
talking to here. He reads the papers just like everybody else. Ev- 
eryone in San Francisco must know by now that the Zebra gun is a 
.32 Beretta. And even if Manney did buy two Berettas from Lucas 
that still would not prove a connection. Unless — 

A million-to-one shot, the detective thought. Like trying to pick 
a single star out of a summer night. 

But stranger things had happened. 

"Where did you get the Berettas, Arnold?" he asked the young 

"One of them I got out of an apartment up on Nob Hill. The oth- 
er I bought off a guy . ' ' 

Coreris could feel himself getting closer to that star. "What 

"A guy named Moo Moo. Big Samoan guy, used to hang out 
over on Turk Street." 

That was it. Nobody but his own team and the district attorney 
knew about Moo Moo. 

Coreris shook his head wryly. I'll be goddamned. The million-to- 
one shot had come through. 

The final link — putting the murder gun into the hands of the men 
who worked at Black Self Help — had been forged. 


The Trial 

It was the longest criminal trial in California history. Beginning 
on March 3, 1975, it lasted until March 9, 1976 — one year and six 

One hundred eighty-one witnesses testified. Court stenographers 
reported three and a half million words of testimony. The tran- 
script totaled nearly fourteen thousand pages, and was bound in 
141 volumes. 

There were four lawyers for the defense. Three of them — those 
defending J. C. Simon, Larry Green, and Manuel Moore — were re- 
tained by the Nation of Islam. The fourth was appointed by the 
court to defend Jesse Lee Cooks. As usual, Cooks was the loner. 
The Nation of Islam had disowned him when he pled guilty to the 
killing of Frances Rose. 

The prosecution of the case was assigned to an assistant district 
attorney with ten years' trial experience: Robert Podesta. He was 
assisted by assistant district attorney Robert Dondero. Inspector 
Gus Coreris worked the trial with them, sitting at the counsel table 
throughout, making his own copious notes of the proceedings. 

Anthony Harris, of course, was the superstar of the trial. He 
testified for twelve days — three on direct examination, nine under 


Clark Howard 

heavy cross-examination — freely admitting his participation in ten 
of the crimes, beginning with the Hagues and ending with the terri- 
fying Night of the Five. He related how Larry Green had hacked 
Quita Hague to death, and how Jesse Cooks had tried to kill Rich- 
ard Hague the same way. How he and J.C. and Manuel had gone 
out stinging after the Ali-Frazier fight, and how J.C. had shot and 
killed Tana Smith, and Manuel had shot and killed Jane Holly, and 
how J.C. had shot Roxanne McMillian in the back. But at no time 
in his testimony did he admit that he himself had ever personally 
assaulted or harmed anyone. He had been formally granted im- 
munity by the court now, but he still maintained that there was no 
blood on his hands. 

Arnold George Lucas was on the witness stand for several days, 
testifying to the vital link between the murder gun found in the 
yard near the Shields killing, and the same gun being put into the 
area of activity at Black Self Help by his sale of that gun to one 
Thomas Manney , the manager of the Muslim moving company. 

Mitch Luksich testified for six and a half days to prove that the 
Beretta found in the yard, the Beretta purchased by Lucas from 
Moo Moo and sold to Manney, was indeed the same weapon that 
had killed Tana Smith, Vincent Wollin, John Bambic, Jane Holly, 
Thomas Rainwater, and Nick Shields, and had gravely wounded 
Roxanne McMillian, Linda Story, Ward Anderson, and Terry 

Besides those three major witnesses, the state elicited testimony 
from 105 others whose stories helped fit together the jigsaw puzzle 
of death. Some of those witnesses: 

Thirteen-year-old Michele Carrasco, who remembered the night 
she and her two friends were almost kidnapped by three black 
men. Michele identified Jesse Lee Cooks. She also remembered 
that one of the others was very light-skinned, but could not defi- 
nitely say that it was Larry Green. 

Richard Hague also identified Cooks, but failed to identify 

Police officer Bruce Marovich recalled seeing Cooks and Antho- 
ny Harris next to the van across the street from where Quita and 
Richard Hague were kidnapped. 

David Paul Bienvineste, the young florist who ran to the nearby 



hospital to get help for Tana Smith — and was refused — testified 
that he was "ninety percent sure" that the gunman who killed Tana 
was J. C. Simon. 

L. C. Green, the black Navy petty officer who had shared Jane 
Holly's newspaper in the Lightning Laundromat, positively 
identified Manuel Moore as her killer. 

Ward Anderson and Terry White, shot down at the Hayes-Fill- 
more bus stop, both positively identified Moore as their assailant. 

Yolande Williams, the young black woman who was returning to 
lock her uncle's car two blocks from the Anderson- White shoot- 
ings, testified that it was Manuel Moore who had run into the 800 
block of Grove Street, tucking a gun in his belt. It was in that same 
block, at 844 Grove, that Simon, with whom Moore frequently 
stayed, and Green, both had apartments. 

Many others also testified. Carolyn Patton, to whom Anthony 
Harris had been briefly married, reluctantly testified that Quita 
Hague's ring, recovered from her by Inspector Gus Coreris, had 
been given to her by Anthony. The pawnshop owner testified that 
Anthony had pawned Saleem Erakat's wristwatch. It was thus 
proved beyond any doubt that Anthony was telling the truth — up to 
a point — about his own participation. All that remained was for the 
jury to believe that he was telling the truth about the participation 
of J.C., Manuel, Larry, and Jesse. 

One person who did not testify at the trial was Eduardo Abdi, 
the little man who had been at the scene of the Paul Dancik mur- 
der, the one who had told the first officers on the scene that he and 
Dancik had been "working on a case together," and then had dis- 

The prosecution did not know what possible link Abdi might 
have had with Dancik, but it was taking no chances that the de- 
fense might produce the man and sabotage their case. So it told 
Coreris to find him. Coreris assigned Jeff Brosch to the job. Brosch 
tracked Abdi to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and spent days trying 
to locate him. Finally, after riding in Albuquerque radio cars on pa- 
trol night after night, he found the little man. 

It did not take long for Brosch to decide that the prosecution had 
nothing to worry about. Abdi was an itinerant preacher who fol- 
lowed the migrant crop workers and preached to them in the field. 


Clark Howard 

He had an incredibly vivid imagination and often gave it full rein. 
That was why he had made the unusual statements to the officers at 
the Dancik scene that night. In actuality he had never known Dan- 
cik, and had not even got a good look at the man who shot him. He 
had just let his imagination take over. 

Jeff Brosch, after a long, hard job of man-hunting, returned to 
San Francisco to tell the prosecution to forget Eduardo Abdi. He 
could not hurt their case. 

For eighty-eight trial days, through one hundred eight prosecu- 
tion witnesses who filled nearly eight thousand pages of transcript, 
the state painted a damning word picture of cold-blooded murder. 

Then the defense began. 

First it attacked Anthony Harris. He was pictured three ways: 

One, he was crazy. This was supported by evidence that at the 
age of fourteen he had been placed in the Pacific State Hospital as a 
mental defective. He was subsequently transferred to the Patton 
State Hospital, another mental institution, from which he escaped 
at age fifteen. After his escape, he was arrested for several burgla- 
ries, and from then on was sent to ordinary penal institutions rather 
than mental health hospitals, 

Two: Anthony was out for revenge. He believed that J. C. Simon 
had been involved in the death of his brother, Pinky Harris, who al- 
legedly had been killed by the Muslims in Southern California. This 
allegation was never proved or disproved. 

Three: Anthony himself was the Zebra killer, had committed 
most if not all of the crimes himself, and had even bragged about 
some of them to the defendants. As proof of this, they pointed to 
the fact that although Anthony claimed he remained outside as a 
lookout during the Erakat robbery-killing, his palm print had 
subsequently been found on the inside of the washroom door 
where the Arab grocer was murdered. 

The defense also sought to cast doubt on the rest of the prosecu- 
tion testimony. A former girlfriend of David Bienvineste testified 
that he had told her on numerous occasions that he was "not sure" 
whether J. C. Simon was the killer of Tana Smith. And a female ac- 
quaintance of CPO L.C. Green said he told her that he had dropped 
his glasses during the Jane Holly killing and saw only a blurred 



heavy set black man. Another witness in the Laundromat said that 
CPO Green was so dumb struck with fear that he could not have 
identified anyone. 

Thomas Manney testified that Arnold Lucas was a liar and that 
he had never bought guns from Lucas. He denied that the Black 
Self Help loft had ever been used for meetings of any kind, saying 
that it had always been too filled with stored furniture for such use. 
His statement lost some of its credence when the prosecution, on 
cross-examination, introduced police photographs taken on the 
morning of the arrests, showing the loft set up for a meeting. 

Finally the defendants themselves testified. Manuel Moore was 
first. Affable, easygoing Manuel made a good impression — but be- 
came confused under pressure, as was usual with him, and ended 
up telling conflicting stories about what he had done on the Night 
of the Five. 

J. C. Simon's testimony was a disaster. Ever his own worst ene- 
my, Simon spent his valuable time on the stand trying to make a 
fool out of the prosecutor. The result was that he himself looked 
like a fool. He even insulted the jury's intelligence by claiming to 
have had a visitation from Allah Himself, who left a set of Muslim 
laws for him to read. 

Only Larry Green fared halfway decently. More poised and 
articulate than he had ever been in his life — evidence that the ten 
months in jail and year-long trial had matured him greatly — he 
made the most favorable impression of all on the jury. As his attor- 
ney pointed out, Larry had not been placed at any crime scene by 
anyone at the trial except Anthony Harris. 

Jesse Cooks, disdainful of the entire trial, did not deign to 

Finally it was over. 

Superior Court Judge Joseph Karesh, a paragon of patience dur- 
ing the long, tiring process, instructed the jury in seventy-four pos- 
sible verdicts it had to select from in determining the murder, con- 
spiracy, assault, kidnapping, robbery, and other charges brought 
against the defendants. 

Then the jury retired to consider its verdict. 


Clark Howard 

"Well, it's almost over," Fotinos said. 

"Yeah," Coreris nodded. "I wish Dick could have been here for 
the verdict," he added sadly. 

Coreris was talking about Dick Walley, the CII man who had 
been so helpful to them since the beginning. Several months ear- 
lier, when Coreris and Fotinos were concentrating on lining up wit- 
nesses and getting their statements for the impending trial, Dick 
Walley had invited Coreris out for a drink one night. 

"Think you can carry the ball on Zebra without me, old buddy?" 
he asked. 

"If I have to, I guess I can," Coreris said. "You leaving CII?" 

"I'm leaving a lot more than that, Gus," the special agent said. 
"I'm dying. I've got terminal cancer." 

Coreris felt sick inside. There was so much to say yet there was 
nothing to say. Here was a man who, next to Fotinos and the rest 
of the Zebra team, had worked as hard on the case as anyone — 
harder, perhaps, because he was working on other killings, other 
hackings, all over the state. And now, when they were about to see 
the fruits of their labor, when they were about to bring the dogs to 
trial and show them to the world for the mad animals they were, 
Dick Walley was to be denied that satisfaction by a creeping cancer 
that was eating away his life. 

Coreris shrugged uncomfortably. "Jesus, Dick. I don't know 
what to say." 

"There's nothing to say," Walley replied. "I'll handle it. I just 
want to be sure that Zebra will be finished up okay." 

"It will," Coreris promised. "It will." 

Because of the complexity of the evidence, along with the 
record-setting length of the trial — a year and three days — it was ex- 
pected that reaching a verdict would be a long, quite involved pro- 
cess for the jury. 

It was not. 

The jury took just eighteen hours to reach a unanimous conclu- 

All four defendants were found guilty on all counts charged 
against them. 

The jury had believed Anthony Harris. 



Because of the surprising swiftness with which the verdict was 
reached, there were only a few people in the courtroom when the 
jury returned. Among those few were Coreris and Fotinos. They 
watched the four defendants as the many guilty verdicts were read 
and the jury polled. 

J. C. Simon stared straight ahead, his jaw set, lips tight. 

Jesse Cooks looked down at the floor, almost bored by it all. He 
moved his shoulders as if trying to work some stiffness out of 

Manuel Moore and Larry Green looked at each other and smiled 
and winked. Larry kept glancing over his shoulder, wishing his 
family were there. Moore grinned idiotically at anyone who would 
look at him. 

Then it was over and the prisoners were being taken out and the 
courtroom was clearing. 

"Well, that's that," Fotinos said. "Chalk up another victory for 
the good guys." 

"Yeah." Coreris thought briefly of Dick Walley. "All the good 
guys," he said. 

The detectives walked down the wide corridor to the elevators. 

"Those four touched a lot of lives," Fotinos reflected. The 
names streamed through his mind: Roxie McMillian, Tana Smith, 
Quita Hague, all the others. "A lot of lives," he repeated quietly, 
almost to himself. Then he looked at his partner. "No more death 
penalty, so they'll all get life sentences. Think they'll ever get out, 

Coreris grunted softly. "Don't they all?" he asked. 

The elevator came and they stepped aboard side by side. 



This book is being published in October 1979, six years to the 
month after the death of Quita Hague, the first Zebra victim. Three 
days after her murder, Quita was cremated at Cypress Lawn 
Cemetery in Colma, California. Her ashes were scattered at sea. 

Richard Hague, Quita' s husband, was still living in San Francis- 
co at the time Zebra was written. He was contacted twice through 
an intermediary but declined both times to be interviewed. 

Ellen Linder also still resides in the Bay Area. She has fully re- 
covered from her ordeal and, intelligent and self-assured woman 
that she is, has not let it affect her subsequent life. 

Frances Rose's body was returned by her family for burial at 
Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston, West Virginia. 

Saleem Erakat was buried after a large funeral at Woodlawn Me- 
morial Cemetery in San Francisco. He is still mourned today by his 
family, which has a large, framed picture of him displayed in the 
grocery store that they still operate. 

Paul Dancik was cremated and interred at Cypress Lawn in Col- 

Arthur Agnos still resides in the Bay Area. After his recovery, 



he was a successful candidate for the San Francisco city assembly, 
where he serves today. 

Marietta DiGirolamo is buried in Olivet Memorial Park in Col- 

Ilario Bertuccio is buried in the Italian Cemetery in San Francis- 

Angela Roselli still lives in the Bay Area. She is still pursuing her 
education. She still suffers pain from her wounds. 

Neal Moynihan is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in San Fran- 

Mildred Hosier is buried in Olivet Memorial Park in Colma. 

John Doe #169 was held in the morgue by the San Francisco 
coroner's office for the statutory period required by law. He was 
never identified. After one year he was buried in the Potter's Field 
section of Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Tana Smith was cremated and her ashes spread at sea near the 
coast of San Francisco, the city she loved so much. 

Vincent Wollin was cremated and interred at Cypress Lawn in 

John Bambic was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in San Francis- 

Jane Holly was cremated and interred at Woodlawn Memorial 
Park in Colma. 

Roxanne McMillian now lives some distance from San Francis- 
co. She continues to suffer daily physical pain. Her husband has 
left her. Her income is extremely limited. Yet she maintains a pos- 
itive, determined attitude. She has her own apartment and has 
learned to drive a specially equipped car. Her son, an infant when 
Roxanne was shot, has started his first year of school. He knows 
his mother was hurt by a "bad" man — but Roxanne has never 
pointed out to him that the man was black. And never will. 

Thomas Rainwater is buried in Santa Barbara, California. 

Linda Story is still a member of the Salvation Army. She works 
with young people in one of the Western states and, like Ellen Lin- 
der and Roxanne McMillian, is continuing her life in a positive, 
commendable manner. She too still suffers pain from her wounds. 

The whereabouts of Ward Anderson, the seaman, could not be 


Clark Howard 

Terry White was still in San Francisco at the time the book was 

The last victim, Nelson Shields IV, was cremated and his ashes 
interred near the family home in Delaware. His father, Nelson 
Shields III, now heads the antigun lobby in Washington. 

The men convicted of the Zebra crimes are, of course, still in 
prison after only six years. 

J. C. Simon is in Folsom. He recently engineered a coup to take 
over leadership of the Muslim faction in that institution. His move 
may eventually prove successful — but at the time of this writing he 
has been relieved of his job in the prison laundry and confined in 
the SHU (Security Housing Unit) with limited privileges. 

Jesse Lee Cooks is also in Folsom, and also in the SHU — not for 
any specific violations but generally because he is considered one 
of the more dangerous inmates in the institution. 

Larry Green and Manuel Moore are both in San Quentin. Manu- 
el, in his own affable way, made his usual effort to be agreeable and 
get along in prison. But Larry, with his blatant racist attitude, im- 
mediately incurred the enmity of the white population. On January 
17, 1978, Larry was stabbed by a white inmate attempting to kill 
him. He recovered from his wound but, for his own safety, was 
confined in the AC (Adjustment Center), the prison's maximum se- 
curity lockup. Because Manuel Moore was commonly known as 
one of Green's crime partners, he too was segregated from the 
main line. Both are still in the AC, where they will probably remain 
for several years. 

Gus Coreris retired from the San Francisco Police Department 
and became an investigator for a large insurance company. He still 
resides in California, though no longer in San Francisco. 

John Fotinos is still a homicide inspector for SFPD. By the time 
Zebra is published, he will have completed thirty years of police 
service and probably will have retired. 

Jeff Brosch and Carl Klotz are still homicide detectives. 

San Francisco, where it all happened, continues to be the West's 
jewel city by the bay, retaining all the charm and ambience that 



make such diverse people as Tana Smith and J. C. Simon fall in 
love with it. It is a delightful city, a fascinating city, a city of many 
hopes and dreams and much happiness — and sometimes terrible 
tragedy. It is to be hoped that it will never again be shrouded in the 
kind of terror created by the Zebra crimes. 
I hope no place will.